32 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | July-August 2014
Welcome to Expert Topic. Each issue will take an in-depth look
at a particular species and how its feed is managed.
Farmed on land
and-based aquaculture is a growing alternative that elimi-
nates the risk of spreading waste, diseases or parasites in
open waters. Closed containment systems do, however,
share a key area of concern with their water-based counterparts,
and that’s how many fish it takes to grow the larger ones that
humans eat. System owners also have to filter out fish waste or
develop markets for products like fish fertilizer.
Building an intricate indoor system of tanks and tubes costs
far more than growing Atlantic salmon in nets or cages in open
waters.The technology, which helps conserve water resources on
land, has been evolving for more than a decade, but few businesses
have been able to make it financially viable says the report.
As a research facility, the Freshwater Institute isn’t aiming to sell
salmon year-round. Its fish won’t hit the market again for another
eight to 10 months, and previous salmon harvests have been
donated to places such as the anti-hunger nonprofit D.C. Central
Kitchen. In the meantime, institute director Joseph Hankins has
opened the facility’s doors to aquaculture businesses and inves-
tors looking to adapt and scale up the recirculating aquaculture, or
closed containment, technology.
The Freshwater Institute’s first batch of land reared Salmon
was delivered to markets in Maryland and Virginia in late March
and will be available through mid-May at area Wegmans seafood
counters and on more than a dozen restaurant menus.That means
Washington consumers can get the first taste of the only Atlantic
salmon in the United States grown with this technology.
July-August 2014 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | 33
A history of
n the early 1990s, according to FAO,
the total harvest from aqua cultivation
centres in Chile did not exceed 80,000
However, by 2004 they had reached
A massive increase in production which
has, despite some difficulties continued.
Likewise in exported volumes, from 30,000
to 430,000 tonnes in that same period. In
dollar terms this has meant from US$100
million in 1990 to US$1600 million in 2004
and as at 2013 this figure has moved to close
Salmonid species have been dominant,
both in harvest volume and export values.
Other important species include bivalve
molluscs (oysters, scallops and mussels) and
cultivation of the Gracilaria algae. Turbot
cultivation has registered a gradual growth
from one tonne (1991) to 249 tonnes (2004).
Many exotic aquatic species were intro-
duced into Chile back as far as the 1850s but
it was not until the early 1900s -1920s that
Salmon were imported.
According to report by E.A. Tulian, the
Argentinian Government employed the services
of John W. Titcomb (Bureau of Fisheries in USA)
for a number of months, especially to bring a
number of salmon/trout species from USA.
Titcomb also chose the site for the first
hatchery at Lago Nahuel Huapi, situated in the
Andes Mountains, within three to five kms of
the Chilean boundary.
According to the report as of March I,
1905, the fish in the ponds at the Nahuel
Huapi hatchery were counted and there were
found to be 8500 brook trout, 3800 lake
trout, and 1800 landlocked salmon.
They measured from six to eight inches in
length. A large number were accidentally lost
during the latter part of the year, but in May,
1906 they had a considerable number of each
of these species in the ponds. The death rate
in all three from the time hatched, in March,
1904, until May, 1906 was as low as would
have been found at anyone of the more suc-
cessful trout hatcheries in the United States.
By 1908 a lot of some 25,000 brook trout
eggs were shipped from the Nahuel Huapi
hatchery to Santiago, Chile on the railroad
that crosses from Buenos Aires to Valparaiso,
not far from the Argentinian boundary, at the
request of the Chilean government, to be
hatched in a small hatchery belonging to that
government located in the Andes Mountains.
Also in 1908 there was an effort to bring
in other species from UK and on that trip
they were given 20,000 Atlantic salmon eggs
that were secured from the Earl of Denbigh's
fisheries in North Wales.
The story is a little patchy but it seems
due to poor packing and timing there was
some urgency in getting them to a hatchery
and some of those eggs ended up in Chile
in possibly the highest hatchery in the world.
The hatchery is still operating today, albeit in
a minor capacity.
Most of the credit is given to The Fisheries
Development Institute (IFOP) who were
instrumental in importing the first Coho
salmon which are recorded as arriving into
Chile in 1921 and over the next 50-plus years
the Institute looked to cutting-edge technolo-
gies from abroad to cultivate various aquatic
species and invited foreign experts to share
their specialist knowledge here.
In 1976 Foundation Chile was formed, an
institution dedicated to scientific research and
It was formed as a public-private partner-
ship by 50 percent Government of Chile
and 50 percent by ITT. Its mission was to
introduce high impact innovations to increase
Chile's competitiveness in world markets.
Aquaculture systems were highlighted as
an important prospect.
In 1978 the government’s contribution
grew with the establishment of the Fisheries
Department and the National Fisheries
Between 1978 and 1980 a series of private
initiatives, including those by Fundacion Chile,
lead to the creation of various companies
dedicated exclusively to salmon farming.
In the early 1980s a small group of vision-
ary entrepreneurs invested in an uncertain
and unknown business - one considered a
high-risk venture at the time – and began
salmon farming in Chile.
In 1982 the first company created by
Fundacion Chile was formed: Salmon Antarctic
Ltda, seven years later this company was sold
to a Japanese company for US$22 million.
The second Fundacion Chile company, Sea
Harvest Tongoy, which manages the develop-
ment of the culture of the Japanese oyster
was then formed and in 1992 the organisa-
tion was credited with developing the Turbot
aquaculture industry in Chile.
By 1985 36 salmon farms were operating
in Chile and total production exceeded 1200
tonnes. A year later, the salmon industry
boom began, with production topping 2100
tonnes per annum and feasibility studies
churning out impressive return on investment
Salmon in Chile today
That same year, as evidence of defi-
nite consolidation within the salmon farming
industry, the Salmon and Trout Producers
Association AG was formed, known as
Salmon Chile today.
From that time on, the association’s main
objective has been to secure a seal of quality
for the production and promotion of Chilean
salmon across global markets. It established
minimum requirements at the processing
plants of its member companies in order to
obtain the best quality product.
In 1990 the industry moved into species
reproduction and the first Chilean Coho
salmon roe were cultivated.
This step represented the first scientific
advancement in Chile and heralded the real
takeoff point for rapid growth of the industry.
At the same time, major improvements in
salmon feeding were made and the subse-
quent increase in volume necessitated a more
Dry foods with a higher lipid content and
a more efficient lipid-protein balance were
In 2003 the industry developed a Code
of Good Practice, the first of its kind in Chile.
An industry crisis followed
With good comes the bad and in July
2007 a farm site in Chiloe officially reported
the first case of Infectious Salmon Anemia
(ISA). The disease is caused by a virus of
the Orthomyxoviridae family, of the genus
Isavirus, which affects Atlantic salmon grown
in sea water.
The disease created an industry crisis
that affected its production processes and
regional development in infected areas. While
34 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | July-August 2014
it doesn’t affect humans, it does cause fish
mortality. It was also diagnosed in the 1980s
in Norway and later in Canada, Scotland, the
Faroe Islands and the United States.
The crisis required the rapid setting up of
a public-private partnership to tackle the issue.
Measures taken included a governmental
body issuing initial resolutions as contingency
measures and subsequent resolutions for
monitoring and control. During this time, the
association worked with member companies
to promote self-regulation and fostered rela-
tionships with government bodies.
As with any crisis, the process generated
opportunities that drove the development
of a new production model for the industry.
This included a series of measures concerning
healthy intervals, coordinated treatment and
These were underpinned by thematic
analyses focused on concessions, production
infrastructure and improved health conditions
including various action plans aimed at the
detection of diseases, vaccinations, the use of
drugs and restrictions on roe imports.
The association coordinated joint projects
with companies in the industry to establish
44 health measures to promote self-regula-
tion and a public-private partnership. These
included modifying existing legislation, in par-
ticular to the General Law on Fisheries and
Aquaculture and adopting new regulations.
Over time, and through the effort and dedica-
tion of all involved, recovery is now evident
within the industry.
Second largest producer
The salmon aquaculture industry is cur-
rently the second largest export sector in
Chile and after Norway, Chile is the second
largest producer of salmon globally. It has gen-
erated more than 60,000 direct and indirect
jobs and operates in over 70 markets.
Markets have been forged in developing
areas like Brazil and other Latin American
countries and there is also a push into China
and Russia. Demand as of now is strong so
there is still some depth to the marketability
of the product.
According to FAO on human resources,
there is an adequate availability of research-
ers, professionals, technicians and specialised
labour force to respond to the increasing
demand by industry and public and private
Universities and higher education institu-
tions are actively training human resources
oriented towards the satisfaction of the
industry’s requirements in production (marine
biologists, veterinarians, fishing engineers,
aquaculture engineers), processing (industrial
and food engineers) and marketing (commer-
There is also a growing specialisation in
service areas such as environmental impact
assessment, disease diagnosis and treatment,
biotechnology, market studies and foreign
trade, among others. The Government has
a ProChile group which is very helpful in the
Annual plan of action
Perhaps the most important milestone
of the last few years has been the official
publishing of the National Aquacultural Policy,
which established objectives, principles and
strategies associated to the activity’s sustain-
This important instrument of public-private
participation also established annual plans of
action (for the years 2004 and 2005), which
have been achieved satisfactorily based on the
July-August 2014 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | 35
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he results from the commercial-
scale project are unusually clear.
Fish that received feed with krill
offered higher fillet yields than the
control group - says Sigve Nordrum, Aker
“The fillets' firmness was greater and the
incidence of gaping lower in fish fed with krill.
The quality improvements could be of major
importance to the processing industry and to
consumers' experience,” he says.
BioMar and Aker BioMarine documented
the value of the fish feed containing krill,
developed by BioMar and called Quick™.
increases food uptake and
growth in farmed salmon. In this major
commercial-scale project, salmon were fed
. Researchers compared this
group of salmon with the control group of
fish that received BioMar feed without krill.
The trial examined 260-farmed salmon,
bred on five sites in Norway.
The fish were analysed by one of Europe's
largest institutes for applied research within
the fields of fisheries, aquaculture and food,
Nofirma. Research examined 14 groups of
fish (between May 2013 and January 2014)
from the standpoints of yield and quality,
including body shape and organ condition, for
example heart and liver index and fat content.
Fillet quality is determined, in part, by
its colour, firmness and gaping. Another
determinant is fat deposition around the
organs. Fat deposition can affect metabolism
and effective metabolism is important for the
Of course, good taste, smell and storage
capabilities are equally vital.
Krill-fed salmon weighed significantly
more than the control group (4.6kg and
Likewise, the filet yield for the krill feed
group was significantly higher (63.7% vs
60.8%). This 2.7 peercent increase corre-
lated with the significantly thicker fillet – 4-5
percent thicker and firmer than the control
In summary, the feed with krill stimulated
the development of more and firmer muscle.
This in turn led to less gaping (7 percent vs
20 percent) and higher yield. There were no
negative effects of the fish examined.
Norfima’s study supports earlier experi-
ments on krill-fed Atlantic salmon.
Independent studies at Norway’s
Aquaculture Protein Center showed that
dietary krill meal, compared with fish meal,
stimulated feed intake and growth in salmon
And a commercial-scale feed trial in Chile
showed that young Atlantic salmon eat more
and grow faster – and bigger – with krill
added to their diet.
Farmed salmon use the nutrients in the
feed to store fat and build muscle. More
muscle improves the fillet quantity and
Researchers believe the increased feed
intake may be due, in part, to the improved
palatability of krill-based diets.
Long-term collaboration for
Aker BioMarine and BioMar are also
collaborating with other companies and
international environmental organisa-
tions to (1) assure krill’s essential role in
marine ecosystems and (2) minimise the
risk of krill fishery impacting ecosystem
Krill are small crustaceans, like shrimp,
that maintain the vital dynamics in the food
chain between microscopic plants and larger
animals, such as seals and whales.
Krill are the most abundant animal species
on the planet.
Though hard to measure, because of their
large home range, the biomass is estimated
between 120-600 million tonnes. Because
of their position in the food chain, changes
that affect krill have repercussions that flow
through the rest of the ecosystem.
Research is underway to examine the
human and environmental changes on krill,
that is warmer and more acidic oceans.
In June 2014 the British Antarctic Survey
and WWF co-hosted a workshop on krill
conservation in the Scotia Sea and Antarctic
Peninsula region. The workshop involved
participants from the scientific, conservation
and fishery sectors.
It concluded that the current catch levels
are unlikely problematic, but uncertainties
about fishery impact increase with catch
Thus, in the management of krill fishery,
a research and development strategy is criti-
cal. Broadening dialogues and availability of
information is equally critical.
“Aker BioMarine is taking pro-active
initiatives to do just that as it continues to
pioneer further development,” Nordrum
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IN SALMONID FEEDS
olatility of supply, price and quality
of commonly-used ingredients and
lack of proper characterisation of
their components are forcing aqua-
culture feed manufacturers to use high safety
margins for nutrients while formulating a feed.
Techniques such as cooking, conditioning,
soaking and finally, using enzymes for various
components are increasingly used to improve
the quality of ingredients in feed or to reduce
the variations in their quality.
Besides phytase (for phosphorus) and
some carbohydrases, dietary proteolytic
enzymes are gaining attention in recent years,
mainly because of the need for better utilisa-
tion of proteins from existing sources.
Protease breaks down large, indigestible
and insoluble proteins to highly digestible
smaller peptides and some free amino acids.
These small chain peptides may also contain
some bioactive properties influencing inges-
tion, digestion, absorption, and assimilation of
nutrients in animals.
These intrinsic properties of protease
enzymes are encouraging for nutritionists
and feed formulators as they allow them
to include more low-digestible
protein ingredients without
compromising the quality of
The influence of
In the intestine of animals,
polypeptides are digested to
smaller peptides and amino
acids by several enzymes
derived from pancreas or secretory cells of
the intestinal epithelium in slightly alkaline
environment achieved by pancreatic secretion
of bicarbonates and bile acids from the gall
bladder (see Figure 1).
The absorption of nutrients occurs in the
intestine by optimising the intestinal surface
area within the constraints of the coelomic
cavity. Presence of exogenous protease can
influence the rate of reactions in the intestine
enhancing nutrient utilisation efficiency of the
Effects of protease in aquaculture feed can
be manifested in more digestible proteins in
feed, improved digestibility of nutrients in an
ingredient, better mucosal health, growth and
feed conversion of the farmed aquatic animals.
Trials with shrimp, crab, salmonids, carps,
tilapia, pangasius, seabream and other spe-
cies have shown significant improvement in
growth, feed conversion or nutrient utilisation
efficiency. In studies with salmonids spe-
cies, addition of protease in feed not only
improved the protein quality of the feed but
also stimulated gut health, growth, and feed
conversion helping the bottom line of feed
manufacturers and producers.
Improving protein quality
In several in-vitro and in-vivo studies with
the Jefo protease, a marked improvement in
protein digestibility of ingredient and feed was
In a study conducted at the University
of Saskatchewan of Canada, addition of the
protease to a co-extruded canola-pea based
diets resulted in significant improvement in
apparent digestibility of crude protein, energy,
lipid and dry matter (P<0.05) in rainbow trout
(see Figure 2A) (Drew et al. 2005).
The improvement was less pronounced in
the co-extruded flax-pea based diets.
Availability of more digestible nutrients
also resulted in improved feed conversion and
growth of rainbow trout fed diets containing
with the protease (see Figures 2B and 2C).
In another in-vivo study conducted at
the Universidad Catolica de Temuco with
three species of salmonids (coho salmon,
Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout), both
protein and carbohydrate digestibility were
improved significantly in fish fed the treat-
ment diets containing the protease than
those fed the control diets (Chowdhury
In an in-vitro digestibility
study at the Universidad de
Concepcion of Chile, protein
digestibility of commercially
extruded (extrusion temp.
120oC) salmonids feeds with
and without protease was
determined using the HCl-
Pepsin method. The method
involved grinding of the feed
samples followed by HCl-
Figure 1: Addition of an exogenous protease in feed during
manufacturing and how it affects the protein quality of feed and
fate of nutrients in the intestine of animals
Experiences from Canada and Chile
by M.A. Kabir Chowdhury, PhD, Jefo Nutrition Inc., Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada
Dr Pedro Cardenas Villarroal, Alinat Chile, Chile
38 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | July-August 2014
Pepsin digestion for 16 hours and
then, separation of solids.
The protein digestibility of a
feed was then determined using
the following equation:
Protein Digestibility (%) = 100
x (Initial CP – Final CP)/Initial CP
The protein digestibility was
analysed in three different hydro-
lysing conditions (temperature
and pH). In all three cases, sig-
nificantly more digestible protein
was reported in feeds containing
the protease than in those with-
out (see Figure 3).
and intestinal health
Several growth and digest-
ibility trials conducted in Canada
and Chile showed significant
improvement in performance of
the test animals fed diets contain-
ing the protease compared to
those fed the control diets (see
Similarly, height (µm), density
and structure of intestinal villi also
showed a marked improvement
in fish fed the protease diets (see
Increased availability of nutri-
ents coupled with increased
intestinal nutrient absorption
capacity resulted in the better
growth and feed conversion in
Challenges for using
a protease enzyme
Issues with heat-stability
have been a major hindrance
for the use of enzymes in aqua-
Very few enzymes in the mar-
ket today are truly heat-stable.
Figure 2: (A) ADC of crude protein in co-extruded flax:pea and
canola:pea diets with and without Jefo protease in rainbow
trout; (B) Feed conversion and (C) specific growth rate of
rainbow trout fed co-extruded flax:pea and canola:pea with and
without Jefo protease
July-August 2014 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | 39
In addition, it is difficult for feed manu-
facturers to compare efficacy of various
enzymes to improve the protein quality of
their feed using traditional or prescribed
enzymatic activity assays. Traditional or
prescribed enzymatic assays rely on spe-
cific substrate, which may not be suitable
for a feed.
Feedmills must be able to rapidly and
accurately test complete feeds for the
presence of a protease as part of their QA/
QC process. The in-vitro protein digest-
ibility assays provide a solution to this
problem enabling feed manufacturers to
test the effects of an enzyme not by meas-
uring activity but in real term, the quality
This innovative solution should be stand-
ardised and utilised as a tool to compare
effects of different enzymes on a particular
Preference to multi-enzyme containing
protease-complex has also been a rising
All enzymes are proteins and add-
ing a protease in the cocktail creates a
situation where other enzymes become
the nearest substrate for the protease.
While it is acceptable to use all the
carbohydrases together, using protease
in a cocktail usually reduces the efficacy
of other enzymes.
Several published and unpublished trials
with carps, shrimp and salmonids showed
lower beneficial effects of multi-enzyme com-
pared to a single protease or a protease-
If intended, it is recommended to use
protease either separately or in a protected
form in a multi-enzyme cocktail to prevent
hydrolysis of other enzymes.
Apart from their availability and
poor nutrient characterisation, imbal-
anced amino acid profiles, poor digest-
ibility of nutrients, presence of various
anti-nutritional factors has been limiting
the use of some novel ingredients in
Using a protease enzyme would therefore
be a useful solution to address these unknown
It can be assumed that in the near
future, similar to phytase, protease enzymes
would become an essential component of
feed as a cost-effective solution to improve
the quality of salmonids feeds.
Chowdhury, M.A.K. 2012. Aquafeed: Advances in
Processing & Formulation, Autumn Issue.
Drew et al. 2005. Animal Feed Science and
Table 1. Growth performance and intestinal villi height of rainbow trout fed diets containing
graded level (0, 175, 250 ppm) of Jefo protease
Control 390 850a 0.92a 2.52a 1.43b 630a
Control + 175 ppm protease 402 971b 1.05b 2.94b 1.35a 663b
Control + 250 ppm protease 399 987b 1.07b 3.03b 1.33a 737b
Notes: Different letters in a column denote significant differences (P<0.05) among the treatments
trout fed diets
Figure 3: Protein
digestibility (%) of
feeds with and without
protease as determined
by HCl-Pepsin method
at three different
40 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | July-August 2014
ew Zealand (NZ) has no native
Salmonid species and in these
days of high biosecurity it
always makes you wonder how
imported species have become established.
In the case of salmon in New Zealand
it seems that colonists back in the 19th
Century were keen to have access to
pleasures that were associated with the very
wealthy – the right to hunt and to fish for
salmon and trout.
At that time NZ rivers were devoid of
sporting fish hence species were imported.
One of the main organisations behind
this work was the Auckland Acclimatisation
Society (AAS), which is still in existence today.
AAS was New Zealand’s first such society
and was established around 1861.
Many others soon followed, including in
Whanganui and Nelson in 1863, and Otago
and Canterbury in 1864. Their rules were very
similar to the British Acclimatisation Society
and focused on introducing all manner of new
species as long as they were ‘innoxious’. By
1866, the British society had merged with the
New Zealand became the standard set-
ting for a network of regional acclimatisa-
tion societies that lasted almost 130 years
– although their role later changed. Their
activities received government sanction, but
not financial support.
In 1867, the first of a series of Animal
Protection Acts in NZ protected many intro-
duced animals and formally recognised the
acclimatisation societies. The importation of
trout was enabled by the Salmon and Trout
Act, passed in the same year.
Species exchange agreements were made
between New Zealand societies and those
overseas. At first many societies had gardens
for propagating new plant species, but these
were soon shed in favour of focusing on
animals, as a result, hatcheries were built for
breeding trout and aviaries for raising game
birds, for release into the wild.
Farmer and rabbit inspector, Lake Ayson, is
regarded as being the main person responsi-
ble for introducing Chinook salmon into New
He had apparently seen the successful
introduction of Brown Trout in the late 1800s
(strangely introduced from Tasmania) and
had some first-hand knowledge through being
appointed curator of the Masterton trout
hatchery. In 1898 he became the Fisheries
Commissioner for the country and as a prior-
ity decided to identify fish species that would
be suitable for New Zealand. Whilst in the
USA on a research trip he was offered half a
million Chinook ova free-of-charge and from
there history was created.
Chinook or quinnat salmon (Oncorhynchus
tshawytscha) are native to the north-west
coast of North America and north-east Asia
but are known in New Zealand by the term
King Salmon. New Zealand appears the only
place in the world where Chinook salmon
have become established successfully outside
their natural range.
Other species such as Atlantic and
Sockeye were also imported and from the
records there was a strong feeling that
the Government had backed the wrong
species but history now shows that is not
Chinook are the largest species of the
Salmonidae family in New Zealand, com-
monly reaching 10–15 kilograms. Most
adults are three years old when they
spawn. When they enter river mouths on
their spawning runs, they are very silvery in
colour – but this gets duller the longer they
stay in fresh water.
The fish are found mainly on the South
Island’s east coast, from the Waiau River in
North Canterbury to the Clutha River in
South Otago. There are also small runs in the
Paringa, Taramakau and Hokitika Rivers on the
West Coast and the renowned fisheries are
the Waitaki, Rangitātā, Rakaia and Waimakariri
The taking of water for irrigation has seen
these rivers suffer from river mouth closure
in summer. Reports have it that in the 2000s
they were no longer regarded as good salmon
Small landlocked Chinook salmon can also
be caught in some South Island lakes such as
Lake Wakatipu. Dams on the Clutha River
prevent them migrating to sea, so they never
grow to any great size (they are typically less
than one kilogram). Occasionally stray salmon
are found in North Island Rivers.
Ocean ranching plans
and canal farms
In the 1970s and 1980s there were also
plans for ‘ocean ranching’ – commercialis-
ing the fishery – based on the theory that
hundreds of thousands of salmon would be
hatched from ova and released. They would
go to sea and feed at no cost and come back
as adults to be harvested. The plans went
ahead and the salmon were released, but they
did not come back.
In the 2000s commercial salmon farms
operated at South Island freshwater sites such
as Waikoropupū Springs near Tākaka, and the
Tekapo canal in the Mackenzie country.
Most sea farming occurs in the
Marlborough Sounds, Stewart Island and
Akaroa Harbour, while fresh water opera-
tions in Canterbury, Otago and Tasman
The successful transposing of
Chinook salmon to New Zealand
42 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | July-August 2014
utilise ponds, raceways and hydro canals for
grow out operations.
The salmon are born in land-based hatch-
eries and transferred to sea pens or fresh
water farms to grow out to harvest size.
New Zealand has very focused farming
practices, strict bio-security procedures and
absence of any native salmon species mean
that the King Salmon are raised without need
for vaccines or antibiotics.
Code of Practice
The New Zealand Salmon Farmers
Association’s Finfish Aquaculture
Environmental Code of Practice states that
raw material for fish feeds should come from
sustainably managed fisheries.
Temperature is an important factor in
determining fish health and growth. King
Salmon thrive in cooler waters and best
growth is achieved at a temperature of
12-17°C. King Salmon take around 12-18
months to grow in sea water. Depending on
market requirements, the salmon are harvest-
ed at an average of approximately 3.5 - 4.0kg.
Farm site selection is very critical and
remains the subject of much debate and, as
has been seen recently with legal challenges in
the New Zealand Supreme Court.
Farms tend to be placed in areas with
strong currents to flush the cages and improve
the rearing environment and minimise the
effects of waste on the environment. The
Global Aquaculture Performance Index
(GAPI), developed by Dr John Volpe and
the Seafood Ecology Research Group at
the University of Victoria, Canada, rated
New Zealand is the top performer of all 22
assessed salmon farming countries, with a
country score of 73.
While GAPI only considers the produc-
tion of Chinook salmon in New Zealand,
according to FAO production data,
Chinook salmon actually accounted for all
marine finfish production in New Zealand
Relatively low, dispersed production drives
New Zealand’s cumulative country score up
to 90—among the highest cumulative scores
of all assessed countries.
Dominance of the
Initially the industry was driven by the
export market but currently the domestic
market is absorbing some 60-70 percent of
production. The main organisations involved
in arms are NZ King Salmon (60-70 percent
of NZ production), Sanford (20-25 percent)
and Mount Cook Alpine Salmon.
Mt Cook Alpine Salmon is driving a bold
NZ$20 million expansion plan to fuel a 1400
percent production increase for the company
within four years. This organisation was pro-
ducing around 500 tonnes in 2011 and with
a NZ$20 million expansion, including a pro-
cessing factory and a value-added plant, they
believe they will be turning out 2000 tonnes
in 2014 onwards.
New Zealand King Salmon has been
through application processes to increase its
2011 production of 7500 tonnes of salmon a
year to 15,000 tonnes by 2015-16. Only a small
percentage of farms have been granted permis-
sion through Supreme Court rulings so the
chances of this happening have been stalled.
Overall NZ King Salmon remains a strong
player in the New Zealand Seafood industry
but its future is being questioned by a strong
conservation movement and people who
would like to see little if anything in the
pristine waters of the Marlborough Sounds
‘Swimming Upstream’ by Jennifer Haworth
July-August 2014 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | 43
September 23-25, 2014 | Beijing, China
The international Feed-to-Meat
platform for mainland China
establish track record within Ukrainian busi-
They told International Aquafeed, at the
Future Fish Eurasia exhibition, that working
with international partners who all spotted an
opportunity in the industry and are looking
The aim is to help restore Ukraine to be
the ‘bread basket’ of Europe again.
They are complimenting their local knowl-
edge and experience with international tech-
nical fish expertise and food business know-
Founding partner Petro Berezhnyi explains,
“Through our relationship with key Ukrainian
food retailers we discovered that there is a
shortfall within the Ukrainian market for fresh
“We see an opportunity in the market
place to develop an aquaculture business in
Ukraine that is focused on delivering quality,
freshness, and superior customer service.”
Ukraine has over 71,000 rivers and lakes.
In particular Mr Berezhnyi sees the opportuni-
ties to locate such fish farms in the western
half of the country where the topography,
infrastructure and water quality is ideal for
For decades Ukraine has had a renowned
reputation as a leading agricultural producer
To put the country into a European
context, Ukraine has a greater landmass than
France. Fifty-four percent of Ukrainian land is
used for agriculture, ranking it third globally
in this area.
In fact, Ukraine’s agricultural arable land
area is almost one-third of the existing agri-
culture land area of the entire European
Union. FishFarm Ukraine also plans to take
advantage of Ukraine’s prowess as a leading
Advisory Board Member, Tom O’Callaghan
says, “Ukrainian’s traditionally appreciate high
“Yet, at the same time Ukraine needs to
do more to promote itself across the world
as a country with an abundance of natural
resources that compliment superior food pro-
duction. As we enter into the EU Association
Agreement we anticipate both an overhaul
and modernisation of Ukrainian food legisla-
tion, coupled with a greater awareness across
Europe of the food production capability of
“We strongly believe that these two fac-
tors will also help strengthen and grow our
Indeed, Ukraine’s position as one of the
10 designated Central and Eastern Europe
(CEE) countries and traditional relationships
with neighbouring former Soviet Union,
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
countries facilitate the potential for greater
Neighbours Poland, Russia and Belarus
imported over €1.4 billion in fresh fish in
Regional demands for fish products with
continue to outstrip supply for the foresee-
able future. This adds to the attractiveness of
aquaculture development across Ukraine.
As illustrated in the table above, CEE &
CIS countries account for about 8 percent
of global fish imports. However, the signing
of the EU Association Agreement will bring
added possibilities for Ukrainian food busi-
nesses to develop business within the world’s
largest import market for fish. Mr. Berezhnyi
concluded, “Our existing business model
is initially focused on fulfilling the untapped
demands of the local Ukrainian market.
Nevertheless, looking into the horizon, we
foresee teaming up with international part-
ners to exploit wider export opportunities
across Europe”. Their plan is formulated to
start with farming trout due to its adaptabil-
ity on land, the high quality of the product
and because it is a good value for money
alternative to salmon. A leaving hint from
Mr. Berezhnyi at moving to farm additional
species such as crayfish, and cheap sorts of
fish like carp in the future could be an excit-
ing development for this fish farm.
July-August 2014 | INTERNATIONAL AQUAFEED | 15
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Tilapia farming in China
Ukrainian Fish Farming:
– Opportunities for growth
Volume 17 Issue 4 2014 - JulY | AuGusT
FISH FARMING TECHNOLOGY
– plan ahead and manage the risk
Fish Farming Technology supplement
- Stock protection
- Biomass control
- Technology round up
– A sea of opportunities for the
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