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  • 1 Dec 2021 6:30 PM | Anonymous


    The practice of aquaculture dates back approximately 4000 years, in China, and 3500 years, in Mesopotamia in ancient China, during the Eastern Han dynasty (25 to 250 AD) the combined production of rice and fishes was documented.

    There are also reports that this practice was carried out by the Romans, Egyptians, Eurasian and American cultures.

    One of the first pieces of evidence on the reproduction of the Nile Tilapia in captivity in irrigation ponds, are from paintings dating from 1500 BC. found in Theban, Egypt.

    Today aquaculture is more than pond fish farming and is more like agriculture and livestock, as these three involve the production, reproduction and management of living resources in a restricted environment.


    According to The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) defines aquaculture as "the exploitation of aquatic organisms, including fish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants."

    Much is known about how the cultivation of Tilapia has been practiced in the world, but what is its future?

    This topic will be addressed by Greg Lutz, Professor of Aquaculture Louisiana State University (LSU) at ‘The Future of Fish Farming Tilapia’event.

    Lutz, who has worked as a consultant in the cultivation and genetic improvement of Tilapia and shrimp in several countries, such as Peru and Mexico. He planned, designed and subsequently supervised the construction, outfitting and operation of the largest commercial aquaculture facility in the state of Louisiana, United States. To date he has authored over 160 scientific, extension and popular publications.

    His research interests and experience are quantitative genetics, alternative species commercialization, practical genetic evaluation through field trials.

    Since 1991 he joined faculty of aquiculture in LSU and his current responsibilities are state-wide extension responsibilities for all commercial aquaculture as well as recreational and ornamental residential pond management.

    His book ‘Practical Genetics for Aquaculture’ tell us about advances in the application of molecular, biotechnological and genetic techniques to a wide range of aquatic species and clear details of the available scientific information and the direct application of techniques under simple and practical situations.

    He also has a Ph.D., Louisiana State University. MS, Louisiana State University, and BS, Earlham College.

    If you do not want to miss this event, we invite to register here free.



  • 30 Nov 2021 5:11 PM | Anonymous

    By: Roy Palmer

    You know what they say – ‘If you are not leading then you are following’ and that would often apply to many people and organisations in the seafood industry. Sad but true!

    The Fishmonger did not attend COP21 in Glasgow, besides not being invited he finds such meetings full of gloom and doom and lacking practical solutions. It has been reported that there were over four hundred private jets at Glasgow Airport carrying only a minute percentage of the audience and that speaks volumes about the lack of comprehension of the subject. Imposing your issues onto others never goes over well when your own actions are arrogant. In the end events like COP21 are just talk fests and if you are waiting for governments to do something then you will be waiting a long time. Remember we are where we are today because of decisions by these same people. Do not forget that ‘common sense is not so common’!

    It is easy to get overwhelmed by climate science, carbon sinks, renewable energy, etc and what the questions and answers are. In essence, we must take some blame as we can all be guilty of ‘taking the easy route’ instead of questioning what damage is being done to our planet if we use this product or change our systems and asking about alternatives.

    Hopefully, The Fishmonger can spark some action, and you can rise to the challenge – be sure to let us know what you are doing.

    The *Blue Food Assessment report was promoted earlier in the year, and it mentioned the crucial involvement that seafood will play in global food security and nutrition and its relationship to climate change. We are already seeing changes in various aspects of our aquatic resources and supply chains due to climate changes, so this report is important to consider. One of the key findings is that ‘increased fisheries and aquaculture production is possible and sustainable, and by 2030 could prevent undernutrition in an additional 166m people worldwide’ – how positive is that!

    Also be aware that whilst your governments will be slow to react, the apparent rise of conscious consumers in the marketplace has led to many businesses and brands, particularly those in retail, imposing tighter controls on what they promote on their shelves. This can impact your business so you cannot ignore and need to have your stories ready and be ready to promote your credentials.

    A UK processing company was recently reported as saying “We are extremely aware of our role in reducing our environmental impact through emissions, and since 2015, we have reduced our operational emissions (scope 1 and 2) by 52.5%. We understand that there is still much more to be done through the whole value chain, from improving the availability and accuracy of data to the importance of adopting and implementing science-based targets that align with the **Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recommendations.”

    The Fishmonger knows that seafood as a whole has a positive story when it comes to its emissions, but sadly we are not promoting those exceptional stories. We cannot rest with that knowledge and as a global industry, we should be pro-active in collaborating, sharing our stories, information and knowledge and be leaders in sustainable food production.

    The report makes a positive statement up front that ‘aquatic foods are a vital component of many food systems yet have received little attention in food policy discourse.’ The description of ‘blue foods’ (animals, plants and algae harvested from freshwater and marine environments) highlights the supply of protein (and we know it is actually far more than a protein) to over 3.2 billion people, contributing a key source of nutrients in many coastal, rural and indigenous communities, and supporting the livelihoods of over 800 million people, the majority of whom work in small-scale systems. Despite their contribution to food systems globally, the report acknowledges that blue foods tend to be underrepresented in discussions about how to feed the world's population sustainably over the coming decades. It would not be the first time that seafood was a last thought which reflects on the lack of global collaboration within the industry.

    The ‘blue food’ sector is changing fast and demand for aquatic foods continues to grow at a strong pace despite the gloom and doom you read in the media.

    What is difficult for global governments to understand is that the small-scale players that lie at the heart of many aquatic food systems have to grapple with these and many other challenges, including environmental degradation, economic shocks, and limited gender and social inclusion on top of failure of any specific strategies.

    Combining FAO and World Bank data, a research document by Rosamond Naylor (Stanford University) et al, estimates that the demand for fish has roughly doubled since the turn of the century and will likely double again by 2050. Focusing on the top two fish consuming countries in the five continents that make up the majority of demand, they estimate that Asia will continue to lead the way in freshwater fish consumption, with the highest demand for freshwater fish in 2050. Added to that is the fact that the majority of the worlds middle class will be constantly moving towards Asia.

    Their modelling projections suggest that China will consume a diverse range of species including crustaceans, demersal fish and cephalopods, Ghana and Peru will continue to dominate the consumption of small pelagic fish, and France, Spain, the US, Mexico and Brazil will continue to consume a wide variety of species. Per capita fish consumption in Nigeria is expected to remain low, at one-third of the level seen in Ghana. But given the large and growing size of the Nigerian population, country-level demand is expected to exceed that of Ghana by some margin in 2050.

    In an incredibly detailed report on climate risks to aquatic food systems by Michelle Tigchelaar (Stanford University) et al, they combine data on climate hazards, exposure and vulnerability for 219 countries, and show that aquatic food systems of Africa, South and Southeast Asia and the Indo-Pacific are the most vulnerable to face high climate risk by the middle of the century under a high-emissions scenario. Reducing societal vulnerabilities, for instance by strengthening governance, promoting gender equity, and reducing poverty, can lower climate risk by margins similar to meeting global mitigation targets. Missing is the need for more understanding here about the role aquaculture plays and the opportunity it also brings to this issue.

    Small-scale players have an essential role in global food and nutrition security, producing two-thirds of aquatic food for human consumption and much of the diversity in produce. Rebecca Short (Stockholm Resilience Centre) et al created a framework for characterizing the diversity of actors in this sector based on seventy case profiles spanning a wide range of geographies and systems. Small-scale fisheries and aquaculture (SSFA) provide livelihoods for over 100 million people and sustenance for ~1 billion people. Players vary widely in terms of inputs and assets, degree of specialization, the markets they serve and the type of management by which they are controlled. Despite this diversity, commonalities emerge. Activities are controlled at a local level by individuals or groups of households. Aquaculture producers often innovate and adapt. Fisher folk tend to engage in cooperative forms of management. The cultural importance of aquatic foods also comes to the fore.

    Modern-day governance assumes uniformity in SSFA despite the diverse nature of this sector. The framework can inform adaptive governance actions supporting the diversity and vital roles of SSFA in food systems, and in the health and livelihoods of nutritionally vulnerable people—supporting their viability through appropriate policies whilst fostering equitable and sustainable food systems.

    The case profiles demonstrate a multitude of benefits associated with greater awareness of and support for the diversity within and across SSFA systems. SSFA players currently have key roles in families, communities, and nations. Many times, they are ignored in policy decisions yet there is a compelling case for their critical centrality in viable aquatic food systems. The paper highlights that there are trade-offs that policymakers have to navigate to maintain the benefits from continued engagement of SSFA players.

    Meeting the needs of global consumers through large-scale industry poses risks for the cultural integrity, equity, nutritional security, and livelihoods provided by SSFA and longer-term actions to redress broader power inequalities, constrain monopolies and support the diversity of SSFA capacities is critical, the report concludes.

    A nuanced understanding of the aquatic food sector, with its diverse produce and players, production processes and impacts, demands and vulnerabilities, can yield benefits for people and the planet. In order to realize these benefits, aquatic foods must be engaged into the fold in total food systems discourse and managed as an integral part of these systems.

    If managed appropriately, aquatic foods have the potential to make a meaningful contribution to the nutritious, sustainable, and just food systems of the future, particularly in some of the most food-insecure parts of the world.

    We can all play our leadership role - that is the challenge for us all.

    Comments & References

    * The Blue Food Assessment is a high-level international collaboration that brings together over 100 researchers looking at all aspects of aquatic food production.

    **Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.

    Blue food (nature.com)

    Harnessing the diversity of small-scale actors is key to the future of aquatic food systems | Nature Food


  • 30 Nov 2021 5:00 PM | Anonymous


    Delivering the best fish to consumers will always be a priority for the seafood industry and recent research has found a fruit that helps breed Nile Tilapia.

    By: Raul Pajaro Sanchez

    Feeding for fish is one of the no less important phases of aquaculture, this if it is well supplied, with the necessary nutrients and proteins, will make the fish grow bigger, stronger and with better sustenance for human consumption.

    Apart from a rigorous diet, adequate fertilization and a good supply of water are the basic and essential care that must be given to the pond for the good breeding of the fish.

    As we have seen since elementary school, fish are also classified into omnivores, herbivores and carnivores.

    Among the first (which consume all kinds of food) are cachama and yamu.

    Herbivores, which feed only on vegetables, we can find species such as the Nile Tilapia, which is a filter of phytoplankton (plant microorganisms). The cachamas consume ripe fruits such as guava, papaya, plantain, banana and mango very well.

    And finally, there are the carnivorous fish (which feed on other animals), including trout and catfish.

    Recent research has shown that pineapple peel meal can be used to feed Nile Tilapia fingerlings without compromising growth or affecting digestibility parameters.


    This theory was practiced by Olaleye Waheed of the University of Agriculture Abeokuta in Nigeria, who conducted a feeding trial to investigate the effect of fermented pineapple husk meal on the growth behaviour and digestibility of Nile Tilapia.


    During his research ,Waheed substituted 35% crude corn protein and was replaced by fermented pineapple husk flour at levels of 0, 25, 50 and 75%.

    At the end of the experiment, it was observed that the fermented pineapple rind was more suitable as an energy supplement when it was incorporated at a level of 75%. The Weight Gain, Specific Growth Rate (SGR), Feed Conversion Rate (FCR) and Protein Production Value (PPV) were 35.6 g, 2.25% / day, 2.58 and 0.56, respectively. Likewise, the final weight of the fish did not show significant differences in all the diets.

    Based on their result, Waheed recommends that an inclusion of 75% pineapple skin in the diet of Tilapia fingerlings is optimal without compromising growth rate or affecting digestibility parameters.

    This thesis gains more force since according to Morteza Yousefi, associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Medicine at RUDN University, in Russia, declares that “pineapple peel, which accounts for up to 42% of the weight of each fruit, is rich in fiber, protein, and pectin”.

    He also certifies that “pineapple supplements have a positive effect on the growth and immunity of Tilapia. Biologically active components of the plant, such as the bromelain, can play a role. It stimulates the activity of the immune system and promotes the functioning of the intestines”.

    “Other substances in pineapple can promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the fish’s body. But we also showed that the supplement should be included in the diet in small amounts. An excess of plant fiber restricts the growth of fish, and prolonged stimulation of the immune system by supplements leads, on the contrary, to suppression of immune responses", completed.


    As well, these two academics assure that a good supplement in the diet of the Nile Tilapia is pineapple. It is worth noting that the research was carried out by Waheed was in 2011 and the study carried out by Yousefi is from 2021.

    More Tilapia related topics will be discussed on January 12, 20 and 26 at the 'Future of Fish Farming Tilapia'event with Mr David Fincham, Director David Fincham Aquaculture Pty Ltd, Dr Ram Bhujel, Director of Aqua-Center, Research Associate and Mr Greg Lutz, Professor of Aquaculture Louisiana State University.




  • 29 Nov 2021 3:30 PM | Anonymous

    The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch

    More countries are joining Tilapia farming. Despite the fact that production is dominated by China, emerging markets appear with good and responsible practices.

    By: Raul Pajaro Sanchez

    An ancestral fish whose origins, according to research, are from the Middle East and Africa. This fish has been present since the times of the pharaohs and immortalized in some Egyptian tombs, evidencing its importance in the Ancient Egyptian diet. This fish is the Tilapia, loved by some and rejected by others.

    The Tilapia, whose records indicate that it was the fish that Jesus used in the miracle of the multiplication of the fish in the Sea of Galilee, is possibly the oldest farm-raised fish in the world and is also known as the 'St. Peter's Fish’, according whit Sea Food Health Facts.

    Today this fish is produced in more than 80 countries, with China being the largest producer, with 45% worldwide. But new markets have emerged such as Peru and Ecuador, in Latin America, Mexico and the United States, in North America, and Taiwan and Indonesia, in Asia, are making their way into the world of Tilapia.


    For example, in Peru, known worldwide for its great variety in maritime gastronomy, Tilapia was introduced in the mid-1950s, but it was not until the 1970s that the development of aquaculture for this fish began. Although its large production is concentrated to be distributed in local markets, this has not prevented it from being exported to other countries such as the United States.

    Good practices and responsibility towards the environment have allowed Peru to deliver good quality Tilapias to the markets, since they use the recirculation aquaculture technique, which means that the culture water is reused after being treated or purified by physical, chemical and biological methods.

    For this, mechanical filters are used whose function is to eliminate solid waste from fish and food. Biofilters remove all toxic components (such as ammonia) and eventually carbon dioxide is removed from the water before being sent to the pond. This cycle guarantees the maximum well-being and weight gain of the fish.

    This quality is approved by The Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, who helps consumers and businesses make choices for a healthy ocean, and say that “blue Tilapia farmed in Peru in raceways is a Best Choice. There's little or no chemical use, and effluent is treated and used to irrigate agricultural lands. Only a small amount of fishmeal is used in the feed, and it's sourced from fisheries that are not overfished”.

    Approximately 100 grams of Tilapia provide 130 calories, that is to say that it is a low calorie species, and nutritionally it contains Vitamins B, Iron02, Selenium, Zinc and omega 3, in addition to being in the number six position of fish with less mercury equalled with Sardine and below salmon and anchovies, according to studies by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from United Estates.

    In general, Tilapia is a mass-consumed fish that has been gaining a very good reputation among fish consumers. Good practices and environmental responsibility are the pillars for people to obtain a high quality fish, but what are the challenges and the future of fish Farming Tilapia? This question will be resolved on January 12, 20 and 26 at the event ‘The Future of Fish Farming Tilapia’.

    This event is open to the entire community and you can register here.   


  • 28 Nov 2021 12:00 PM | Anonymous


    A deserved recognition of the great work done by Aussies, but the way to go is still long.

    By: Raul Pajaro Sanchez

    The most recent Fishery status reports from Seafood Industry Australia (SIA) shows that none of the Australia’s Commonwealth-managed fisheries have been subject to overfishing, for the eighth consecutive year. Commonwealth Southern Bluefin Tuna stocks have been reclassified as not overfished.

    This 26th edition of the Fishery reports summarises the performance of fisheries against the requirements of fisheries legislation and policy. What is more, it covers the biological status of 100 fish stocks across 22 fisheries, including those managed both solely and jointly by the by the Australian Government.


    One of the Commonwealth's principles for management is that Australians fish for, and have access to, safe, high-quality seafood, sourced from sustainably managed fisheries.

    There are several principles at work.

    •  Sustainability: fisheries are managed in a manner consistent with the principles of Ecologically Sustainable Development, with no overfishing and the recovery of overfished stocks.
    • Science-based decision-making: fisheries management decisions are based on the best available science.
    • Resource sharing: equitable access among professional, recreational and Indigenous fishers to our shared marine resources.
    • Rights-based fisheries management: through the use of statutory fishing rights, with a preference for individual transferable quotas, and fisheries managed using output controls.
    • Maximising utilisation and productivity: develop fisheries and aquaculture to maximise the net economic return to the Australian community.
    • Regulatory effectiveness and cost recovery: regulatory and cost recovery requirements that are fit for purpose.
    • Transparency in decision-making: decisions are made in consultation with all relevant stakeholders.
    • Meeting international obligations: fisheries are managed in a manner that is consistent with Australia's international obligations, emphasising cooperation in the management of highly migratory and shared fish stocks.
    • Stamping out illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing: continue to fight and prosecute illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and implement international agreements that help close loopholes exploited by those who threaten our fish stocks

    All of them produce a harmony of converge to provide the Australian population with the highest standards of fresh fish for consumption. Therefore the report shows that fisheries reported a gross production value of $438 million in 2019-2020, which is 28% of Australia's total gross value of wild fish production of $1.6 billion.

    Although all these numbers sound good in Australia, in the world the reality is sobering. The Marine Biologist and entrepreneur Alasdair Harris, in his most recent TED Talk, demonstrated how in one of the poorest countries in the world overfishing was destroying the entire marine ecosystem and species no longer reproduce in the same conditions as before.

    “Every year we (the humans) fish harder, deeper, further afield. Every year we chase ever fewer fish”, said Harris.

    But he did not just stay there without doing anything and thanks to his collaboration through his organisation, Blue Ventures, he helped and educated this part of the population to fish in a sustainable way. So, Harris devised a way where the locals themselves should fish only what is necessary and after a while, the fish and cephalopods in the area began to grow more, not only in size but also in population.

    Although Harris's work has been important and key in that area of the world, there is still much to do, since the big companies do not care about the maritime ecosystem and continue to fish without measuring the consequences. This market has become a true paradox, since it is, to a certain extent, unnecessary (overfishing) but at the same time necessary for people due to the rich nutrients that seafood offers.

    That is why the work that Australia does in carrying out good practices in this area is so important. An example to be followed by many nations to help the environment and demolish the organisations that want to take advantage of the wealth of marine species, thus causing irreparable damage in exchange for making a quick buck.



  • 27 Nov 2021 5:00 PM | Anonymous


    Over the past decade, aquaculture has been Queensland's fastest growing primary industry and it continues to show significant potential for expansion, particularly in regional areas.

    —Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

    By: Raul Pajaro Sanchez

    The first use of aquiculture in Australia began thousands of years ago, started by an aboriginal community, according to research, where eels were raised in Lake Condah and Tyrendarra in the Victoria area. One of the first attempts of extensive aquiculture was the transportation yabbies or crayfish between ponds to restock the impoverished ponds with fish.

    In the decade of the 1960’s, the first steps of the experimental aquiculture were started with yabbies by harvesting in farm reservoirs and natural waterways. But it was not until 1872 that the fruit of these efforts were reflected in his first commercial product which was the Sydney Rock Oyster.

    Aquaculture is currently the fastest growing primary sector industry in Australia. Its value has increased at a rate of 13 percent annually since 1990, and in 2003 the value of aquaculture production was approximately US$ 251.3 million, according to the Food Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

    Australia is hard working and has seen increases and developments in this industry. Day-by-day, the industry creates opportunities and income in a varying economy. This is revealed through the Aquaculture production summary for Queensland which says that “the total value of the Queensland aquaculture industry has increased by 39.2%, with the value of production increasing from $118.4 million in 2018-19 to a record high of $164.9 million in 2019-20”.

    One of the best places for an opportunity to invest in aquaculture is Queensland.

    Although the global harvest of seafood is not expected to increase, the demand for seafood continues to increase due to increasing population and global wealth.

    “Over the past decade, aquaculture has been Queensland's fastest growing primary industry and continues to show significant potential for expansion, particularly in regional areas” says the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries of Australia (DAFQ).

    The government and local workers work together to maintain high operational standards and environmental responsibility. “The industry's clean, green and safe reputation is a clear advantage in local and international markets”, DAFQ.

    Therefore, regions like Gladstone, Mackay, Rockhampton, Townsville, Whitsunday, Hinchinbrook (Macknade) and Hinchinbrook (Halifax/Braemeadows) have the doors open for investment in new aquiculture projects, capital costs differ depending on aquaculture types and species.

    For example, a prawn farm in Queensland, with all appropriate equipment, ponds, buildings and processing facilities, is estimated to cost between $100,000 and $150,000 per hectare of pond, not including land costs.

    Or a semi-intensive pond culture operation for the grow out of silver perch, including land purchases, is between $300,000 (15 tonnes per year) and $700,000 (50 tonnes per year).

    An intensive pond-culture operation for the grow out of silver perch, including the purchase of land, equipment and the construction of ponds, would be $1 million for 10ha of ponds with a production output of 50-80 tonnes.

    So if you are thinking of making an investment and are passionate about aquaculture, you can take advantage of this opportunity and invest in a sector of the economy that, as its numbers indicate, is on the rise and can give you good returns.

    If you want to know more about this investment opportunity, enter the following link and you will find all the information laid out on how to be part of Australian aquaculture – https://bit.ly/3oPnZ8i.



  • 27 Nov 2021 3:17 AM | Anonymous


    Delivering the best fish to consumers will always be a priority for the seafood industry and recent research has found a fruit that helps breed Nile Tilapia.

    By: Raul Pajaro Sanchez

    Feeding for fish is one of the no less important phases of aquaculture, this if it is well supplied, with the necessary nutrients and proteins, will make the fish grow bigger, stronger and with better sustenance for human consumption.

    Apart from a rigorous diet, adequate fertilization and a good supply of water are the basic and essential care that must be given to the pond for the good breeding of the fish.

    As we have seen since elementary school, fish are also classified into omnivores, herbivores and carnivores.

    Among the first (which consume all kinds of food) are cachama and yamu.

    Herbivores, which feed only on vegetables, we can find species such as the Nile Tilapia, which is a filter of phytoplankton (plant microorganisms). The cachamas consume ripe fruits such as guava, papaya, plantain, banana and mango very well.


    And finally, there are the carnivorous fish (which feed on other animals), including trout and catfish.

    Recent research has shown that pineapple peel meal can be used to feed Nile Tilapia fingerlings without compromising growth or affecting digestibility parameters.

    This theory was practiced by Olaleye Waheed of the University of Agriculture Abeokuta in Nigeria, who conducted a feeding trial to investigate the effect of fermented pineapple husk meal on the growth behaviour and digestibility of Nile Tilapia.

    During his research ,Waheed substituted 35% crude corn protein and was replaced by fermented pineapple husk flour at levels of 0, 25, 50 and 75%.

    At the end of the experiment, it was observed that the fermented pineapple rind was more suitable as an energy supplement when it was incorporated at a level of 75%. The Weight Gain, Specific Growth Rate (SGR), Feed Conversion Rate (FCR) and Protein Production Value (PPV) were 35.6 g, 2.25% / day, 2.58 and 0.56, respectively. Likewise, the final weight of the fish did not show significant differences in all the diets.

    Based on their result, Waheed recommends that an inclusion of 75% pineapple skin in the diet of Tilapia fingerlings is optimal without compromising growth rate or affecting digestibility parameters.

    This thesis gains more force since according to Morteza Yousefi, associate professor in the Department of Veterinary Medicine at RUDN University, in Russia, declares that “pineapple peel, which accounts for up to 42% of the weight of each fruit, is rich in fiber, protein, and pectin”.

    He also certifies that “pineapple supplements have a positive effect on the growth and immunity of Tilapia. Biologically active components of the plant, such as the bromelain, can play a role. It stimulates the activity of the immune system and promotes the functioning of the intestines”.


    “Other substances in pineapple can promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the fish’s body. But we also showed that the supplement should be included in the diet in small amounts. An excess of plant fiber restricts the growth of fish, and prolonged stimulation of the immune system by supplements leads, on the contrary, to suppression of immune responses", completed.

    As well, these two academics assure that a good supplement in the diet of the Nile Tilapia is pineapple. It is worth noting that the research was carried out by Waheed was in 2011 and the study carried out by Yousefi is from 2021.

    More Tilapia related topics will be discussed on January 12, 20 and 26 at the 'Future of Fish Farming Tilapia'event with Mr David Fincham, Director David Fincham Aquaculture Pty Ltd, Dr Ram Bhujel, Director of Aqua-Center, Research Associate and Mr Greg Lutz, Professor of Aquaculture Louisiana State University.




  • 10 Sep 2021 12:22 PM | Anonymous

    Whether they are protected under State and Territory animal welfare legislation depends upon the definition of ‘animal’ in each jurisdiction.
    A new bill is being introduced to the United Kingdom parliament to increase protection for fish and invertebrates which raises important ethical questions and whether there should be legislative change in Australia.  The main reason for excluding crustaceans, octopuses and fish is on the basis that they don’t feel pain.  What does science tell us, and how will that knowledge affect welfare laws?

    -Katherine Hawes-Legal Consultant - Digital Age


    Do crabs, octopuses and fish feel pain? Should they have greater rights to humane treatment?


    In the verses of Nirvana's haunting track Something in the Way, Kurt Cobain offers the unremarkable cliche "it's OK to eat fish, cos they don't have any feelings".

    It was probably meant as a metaphor, for what we'll never know, but is it actually true? And if not, how has the belief become so widespread?

    In the lottery of life, non-mammalian sea creatures in general get a pretty bum deal.

    For whatever reason, the empathy we extend to dogs and cats — most mammals, really — doesn't seem to penetrate below the ocean surface.

    But could that be, legally at least, about to change?

    The United Kingdom parliament is currently debating a bill that would establish an "animal sentience" committee, which would increase welfare protections for fish and invertebrates.

    "I have been shocked by some of the treatment of animals such as lobsters, crabs, and squid in the way they have been stored and very often killed,"  Baroness Fookes (Conservative) told the House while debating the bill.

    "I believe very strongly that there is already sufficient evidence to indicate that non-vertebrates should be included in the bill."

    In Australia, animal welfare laws vary from state to state, and whether an organism is covered generally depends on whether it is classified as an animal.

    In South Australia and Western Australia, fish and crustaceans are excluded from animal welfare legislation. Queensland and Tasmania also exclude crustaceans from the definition of an animal.

    Exemptions are also made in some states and territories for commercial and recreational fishing.

    So do Baroness Fookes and her colleagues have a point — and should we be following suit here in Australia?

    Here's what the science says about fish, crustaceans, cephalopods and their experience of pain and other feelings.

    Removing fish brains bit by bit

    First, it's worth pointing out that this debate isn't settled.

    The conflict has largely centred around whether a fish's distressed reaction to something like a hook in its mouth is a pain response or something involuntary that we might compare to a reflex.

    A commonly used example to demonstrate the difference between these two reactions is the case of burning your hand on a hot stove.

    The immediate response is to pull your hand away. This is a reflex that happens thanks to the transmission of signals between the burnt limb and your spine, which takes place before you experience pain.

    Pain occurs separately, after you have pulled the hand away, once the signals are processed in our brain's neocortex via a complex signal pathway.

    In the absence of that second process, we wouldn't experience pain, despite having withdrawn our hand from the threat.


    Researchers have removed parts of fish brains to see how their response to negative stimuli changes.(ABC: Jo Prendergast)

    Fish don't possess a neocortex, nor do they possess any other apparatus that may allow similar processes to take place, according to Brian Key, a professor of biomedical science at the University of Queensland.

    He said experiments have been done where numerous parts of a fish brain were removed, and they still respond to stimuli in the same "reflexive" way — much like you pulling your hand away from the hot stove.

    "It's what's called autonomous response. We can take a bit out of [the brain] and another bit out and another bit out of the animal and you poke it and it behaves [the same]."

    He said it's difficult for people to believe that fish don't feel pain, because we associate those reactions with our own experience.

    "Everyone has a set of core values but mostly it runs on 'if you poke it and it reacts, therefore it must feel,'" Professor Key said.

    "It's nothing to do with intelligence. It's about whether they have the hardware to feel and I’m saying, no they don’t."

    But fish respond to painkillers

    On the other side of the coin, there are those who argue that pain is necessary for survival and that, by extension, survival is proof of pain.

    A negative or painful experience, according to the argument, is needed to permanently alter an animal's future behaviour towards the source of a threat.

    Without that behaviour-altering experience, an animal would continue to put themselves in harm's way, and inevitably suffer life-threatening injury.

    Nociceptors which are sensory neurons found in humans, have also been found in fish.(Getty Images: Universal Images Group)

    Nociceptors which are sensory neurons found in humans, have also been found in fish.(Getty Images: Universal Images Group)

    Numerous studies have shown fish will rapidly change their behaviour following exposure to what we would regard as a painful experience.

    And anecdotally, anglers have reported needing to alter their fishing methods — using finer line and well-disguised hooks — in heavily fished areas.

    There is physiological evidence to support this view as well.

    Nociceptors are sensory neurones found in human skin that help transmit long-ranging electrical signals to the brain.

    Their discovery, initially in rainbow trout, is part of the evidence that has effectively "put to bed" the argument against fish feeling pain, according to fish behavioural ecologist Culum Brown of Macquarie University.

    "We've known since 2002 that fish have nociceptors, which are the nerves responsible for detecting painful stimuli in humans,"

    Professor Brown

    Giving fish analgesics that work on humans has also been shown to alter their "pain" and fear response.

    "Anxiety is pretty well established amongst a whole bunch of animals, including fishes," Professor Brown said.

    "We know from looking at the various drugs we use on humans to prevent anxiety – all those drugs work on fish."

    What about crabs, octopuses and other invertebrates?

    The nervous systems of octopus evolved independently of humans, yet some of our drugs work on them.(Supplied: Nicole Carrigan)

    "Things like cuttlefish and octopus, their nervous systems evolved completely independently of vertebrates. They're basically snails," he said.

    "Amazingly, though, some of our [pain-killing] drugs still work on cephalopods."

    A 2018 study also found that octopuses given the party drug ecstasy were increasingly sociable, measured through the amount of touch and interaction between one another.

    Although nociceptors haven't been found in crustaceans — crabs, prawns, crayfish and the like — there are other clues that point to long-term behavioural changes associated with negative experiences.

    Crustaceans avoid objects that administered an electric shock in lab scenarios, and shocked crayfish were found to have higher brain-serotonin concentrations and blood glucose, which researchers put down to a stress response.

    An anti-anxiety drug was also found to reduce "fearfulness" in lobsters in a 2014 study.

    "When we're talking about sentience we're literally talking about the capacity to feel," Professor Brown said.

    "It seems to be an emergent property from complex nervous systems – if you have lots of sensory input from touch and smell and those sorts of things, and they're all being processed centrally, sentience is a feedback."

    But Professor Key said similar experiments have been conducted in invertebrates as fish, where parts of the brain and nervous system were removed without changing the "autonomous response" to stimuli.

    "Molluscs — same result," he said.

    "Part of the family of molluscs are octopuses. They don’t have that hardware. But people would say they're intelligent creatures.

    "These animals are complex structures but they just aren’t as complex as humans."

    So where does that leave us on the question of sentience and whether animal cruelty laws should apply to fish and crustaceans?

    Professors Brown and Key conduct the scientific research that may help ethicists with these questions, but do not profess to be ethicists themselves.

    Want more science — plus health, environment, tech and more? Subscribe to our channel.

    Professor Brown thinks it's likely that laws regarding the humane treatment of animals will expand as the science progresses.

    "The real question at the moment is how far back in evolution does this go — what animals might be sentient and what might the minimum requirements be?

    "My guess is after crustaceans, it might be ants and wasps and bees."

    But Professor Key said there was now enough scientific evidence on the matter of whether or not pain is a universal trait, that we needed to be discerning about enshrining the rights of animals into law.

    "[It] is not [always] justified and would lead eventually to bestowing any animal with a nervous system as being sentient."

    Reference: https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2021-07-21/sea-creatures-crabs-lobsters-fish-octopus-humane-treatment/100292422



  • 2 Sep 2021 3:29 PM | Anonymous

    The world is coming through the COVID-19 impacts in various ways. Some countries are doing better than others. Some industry sectors have thrived, some have survived and sadly many have disappeared. Seafood has had both good and bad outcomes, but the most important aspect is if you have survived the global pandemic then you need to be getting organised for your next chapter and ensure you are in the box seat.

    There is no single seafood industry COVID-19 story. The degree of exposure, impact and recovery for sectors and businesses, whether wild caught or farmed or where you are in the supply chain, varies from positive, neutral, negative and in a few cases, catastrophic.

    The closer you were to your market, likely the better outcome you have had. The longer the supply chain the more you probably suffered from the logistical nightmares that were experienced. If your emphasis was on high valued white tablecloth restaurant trade, then you would have suffered more compared with those that engaged in retail/supermarket sales.

    The ability of producers to be fleet of foot and be prepared to adapt and change to alternative markets was strongly highlighted in success stories. Conversely if you were locked in to exporting only live and fresh product you would have been sucked into a negative vacuum.

    In Australia it has been reported that those supplying domestic retail and take-away food service markets which normally compete with fresh international imports experienced a rise in demand

    and in some cases, price. As a result, value of these types of domestically sold products generally

    remained relatively stable with any decline in production volumes offset by rising domestic prices. At the opposite end of that positive scenario was that live and fresh export products were significantly negatively impacted due to a decline in both price and volume, noting particularly that the value of Lobster and Abalone exports declined by 45%, while live and fresh seafood exports overall declined in value by 32% compared with the five-year average for the same period.

    No matter where you are on the chain you likely experienced substantial transaction costs because of adaptation to ensure business continuity. New laws reacting to C-19; higher levels to ensure food safety; increased logistical costs; improving packaging; labour issues such as physical distancing and other preventative health measures including COVID-19 safety planning and biosecurity requirements for imported and exported products, etc.

    Governments across the world have struggled to find perfect solutions which is not unexpected in the circumstances. Some have dug deep to implement grants/loans and programs, but it has been hit or miss and impacts will be felt for many years.

    In Australia, the pandemic effects on aquaculture production and value were not as bad as they could have been as the sector has a lower exposure to live export markets and a greater focus on retail markets. Additionally, the production is not large by world standards and quantities cannot be rapidly adjusted in response to disruptions. Of course, those engaged in exports such as Oyster and Abalone growers did experience interruption and impact.

    Imported seafood is important to Australia’s seafood industry as they contribute approximately 65% of Australian seafood domestic consumption. China, Thailand, Vietnam, New Zealand (NZ) and Indonesia are the top five countries by value from which Australia imports seafood which lead the frozen and canned sectors and overall, both have done very well throughout the pandemic period. This is especially so in lower price-point fish sold by food service businesses, including fish and chip shops, Asian style food-court vendors and the lower tier dine-in outlets, such as cafes, pubs, and clubs. Imports are also important in the food catering sector which services accommodation and travel, hospitals, aged care, prisons, cruise ships, etc. These sectors rely on affordable, shelf stable, ready to use, portion controlled, no waste products, typically frozen cartons of processed seafood – requiring form and volumes not produced in Australia. Clearly an opportunity for future thinking in Australia.

    Retailers have benefited from selling imported frozen product (thawed) at wet fish counters and those nimble operators who invested time and effort into changing packaging to enable wholesale product intended for the food service to be split into retail ready packs found life profitable. Being adaptable saw more versatile companies seizing new opportunities by diverting product destined for restaurants to be sold at wet fish counters thus eliminating potential losses.

    What the pandemic has seen is a change in direct sales from producers to final consumers and whilst small in proportion of total sales by volume this maybe an area for the future expansion. In Australia, the market was affected by the disruption to export and competing import markets for live Australian seafood and by COVID-19 preventative health measures introduced which had the effect of curtailing regional tourism and visitation and thereby seafood tourism in these areas.

    For example, farm gate sales of products such as fresh Oysters were affected by the drop in inbound international tourism. The decline in direct sales decreased more dramatically during the lockdown phase as restrictions on domestic travel reduced tourism visitation levels to regional areas while physical distancing restrictions limited the operations of farm gate retail outlets. This resulted in farm gate outlets shutting and staff lay-offs and strongly impacted revenue as farm gate prices are typically higher than wholesale.

    In some States, sales of Oysters and Finfish species by producers via home delivery or fishing ports close to metro areas increased especially during the lockdown phase. ‘Back of the boat’ sales of Rock Lobster increased as producers were no longer able to sell the normal volumes into export markets in China. This trend continued across the lockdown and initial easing phases as the price of product into these export markets remained low even when resumed. It was reported from a survey of Tasmanians about food access and supply, 22% reported buying Rock Lobsters directly from fishers during the COVID-19 lockdown period (UTAS 2020).

    In a survey it was reported that aside from loss of sales, employment costs were impacted. Thirty-five percent of farms reported an average of 15% increase in labour cost due to COVID-19, driven by increased safety requirements, the space and equipment needed to manage excess oyster inventories and heightened biosecurity risks. Seventy-seven percent of farms accessed government support programs.

    Our industry is subjected to a wide range of cost variables, many of which are not easily controlled, and the pandemic has become another of these creating ‘the perfect storm’ to deal with. It is even harder in our area of food production as most of our stock is underwater and not in minds eye like it is in say the beef industry. Riding out the storm will take a lot of doing and much can be learned from sharing information and knowledge.

    The Fishmonger suggests you follow these tips: -

    • Be nimble in your dealings – always be on the lookout for ideas and do not be afraid to make changes to your organisation to ensure you are profitable.
    • Look for opportunities to have quick sales to promote and move product.
    • Do not buy what you cannot sell – know what your customers want and plan.
    • Utilise social media to build loyalty and offer specials through that medium.
    • Take advantage of any offers of government assistance.
    • Avoid wastage by utilising value-add products.
    • Shop around with your suppliers to get the best deal – do it in a way that makes them see you as an important client.
    • Make your payments on time.
    • Do not become a bank for your creditors – be strict on your terms.
    • Continue to train your staff.
    • Look after your staff and reward them for any initiatives.
    • Do not forget your own local market – if you create loyalty, they will support your business in good and bad times.
    Happy Fishmongering!


    References:

    2016-128-Product-Impacts-COVID19-Report-01Mar2021.pdf (frdc.com.au)

  • 2 Jul 2021 10:20 AM | Anonymous

    Let us be honest supermarkets have generally not done much good for the seafood industry and have constantly failed the consumer. Poor displays, lack of trained staff, poor management of counters and much wasted food and, now, consequently, there is clearly a general shift from the ‘fresh fish’ counter to such things as pre-packed chilled seafood and hot food counters.

    The UK Grocer magazine recently revealed that Walmart owned Asda Stores Ltd chain are to close all their meat and fish counters. This news follows on from the decision by Tesco to close some of their service counters including fish – a potential worrying sign for aquaculture production.

    Supermarkets are looking at short term profits only as removing fresh counters means losing the point of differentiation between the larger retailer and the discounters as fish counters provide a greater variety for consumers.

    Supermarkets have realised that fish on ice has a much shorter shelf life compared to pre-packaged fish so they will always point to the move away from fish counters is being driven by the need for operational efficiency and improved waste management. Sadly, few invest in staff training to understand the nuances in setting up counters and engaging consumers so reap what they sow in that area.

    If the retailer puts on a poor seafood display, then clearly the informed consumer is either going to buy elsewhere or worse still, buy other protein! As their fish counters have fewer and fewer customers, this impacts the display offering and evidence shows that downsizing fresh fish counters has been occurring for a while and it is very difficult to reverse. Space is money to supermarkets and if the space is not providing the income then change will occur.

    US and UK are experiencing declining home consumption of seafood. Whether this is due to the poor offerings and lack of excitement created at the seafood counters or just a general move to more convenience in the busy lives of consumers no one really knows. But the inevitable is that fresh fish counters will sadly be a thing of the past.

    You can blame the seafood industry as it fails to invest itself or you can blame the supermarkets for their lack of seafood engagement but if you are trying to grow your aquaculture enterprise you need to find something more secure than selling to supermarkets.

    When the Fishmonger stumbled and was injured and needed hospital care the Fishmonger may have accidentally fallen into what could be an aquaculture producer’s opportunity.

    Institutional food covers the whole gambit from prisons to hospitals; university campuses to business canteens and spreads out wider to airlines and sporting stadiums. When researching ‘institutional food’ I came across this explanation – “characterized by the blandness, drabness, uniformity, and lack of individualized attention attributed to large institutions that serve many people: institutional food”. This says it all – you get what you are given and that’s the end of it.

    When did you last hear someone say with such food – that was so great I need to go back there for another meal! Mostly it is all about price and mass production and the bottom line is more important than the nutritional content, the quality of the food and/or the dining experience.

    The initial experience for the Fishmonger was in a Mexican hospital, fortunately one which had a strict ‘no chilli’ policy, possibly a rarity in a country that loves its chilli. The choices were minimal and whilst certainly edible they were pretty much as described above.

    On the home journey an infection had impacted the Fishmongers injury and on arrival it was clear a trip to the emergency hospital was needed. Having ticked the three boxes that triggered the biosecurity quarantine at the hospital was worse to follow? The Fishmonger was not expecting to find any great change to the hospital culinary journey having experienced hospital stays in the past, but thankfully a new awakening was waiting.

    Seafood is good for your health and well-being and hospitals, you would think, would have been the first place to set you back on the road of recovery and should be providing the best nutritional input but alas you fear ordering the fish. The experience, sadly, has been generally woeful, with overcooked and flavourless offerings.  

    It generally takes a good day, sometimes longer, in hospital to get organised with food choices as it is not seen as an important issue. You are therefore at the mercy of whoever is in charge or organising the food. Being told your first meal would be ‘the fish’ there is not the excitement as might be if you were in different circumstances.

    Wow…. the meal arrived and it was a Grilled Atlantic Salmon fillet and it was cooked to perfection. Something you would have been more than happy to receive in a fancy restaurant. Surely the Fishmonger was dreaming (or maybe it was the drugs…) as nothing this tasty and nutritious could be served in a hospital!

    Soon the Fishmonger was given control of the very modern computerised food ordering system that is aligned to each hospital room where you can book from a large menu and allotted times. The question for the Fishmonger was does he put the initial fish meal down as a mirage and leave it in the memory bank knowing it cannot be surpassed or does he go back to the ‘fish’ and order the Steamed Barramundi to see if it is a consistent offering.

    The Fishmonger loves his seafood, so he had to tempt fate and hit ‘Barramundi’ on the menu button, and he was not disappointed. In fact, he was so impressed that, over the few days he was in hospital, he constantly pushed the seafood meal button and after discharge organised to meet the people responsible for the food.

    Preet Singh, Executive Chef at Epworth HealthCare, is clearly a culinary and food safety professional. He has over 15 years of experience in the health care catering and hospitality service industries and leads his team which produces 2,500 meals per day on average. Preet has come through the organisations program during which he engaged heavily in training, working hard to move up the ladder and finally overseeing the massive changes that have taken place.

    Of course, hospitals, like all institutions, operate on tight budgets but clearly, as Preet has shown at Epworth it does not mean that you cannot produce fine food. Preet indicated that they have a proven track record of working within budget for food and labour costs and, importantly, exceeding expectations at an organisation level, department level and amazingly at a patient level.

    Investment in new technology both with cooking equipment and menu management software (Delegate and Buckeye were mentioned) and dedicated well trained staff pays off but having the ability of getting consistent quality raw material is an essential element to the finished product. That clearly is where aquaculture producers can excel and become major direct suppliers to the institutional organisation.

    As CAPT Joseph Hibbeln, M.D., USPHS a Clinical Investigator and currently Acting Chief of the LMBB/ Section on Nutritional Neurosciences at National institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (SNN at NIAAA) has told us – ‘Fish is a food with unique psychotropic properties and consumption of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, rich in seafood, reduces depression, aggression and anger while improving mental well-being. Seafood contains a host of balanced nutrients and if we have a seafood deficient diet it means the brain isn’t getting enough nutrition and data collected showed nutritional deficiencies caused by not having omega-3 in your diet results in the harm it intends to prevent.’

    We mention CAPT Hibbeln as he has been involved in many studies on many people within institutions. He particularly has pointed out in a paper ‘Suicide Deaths of Active US Military and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Status: A Case Control Comparison’ that Omega-3 Fatty Acids are extremely low among US Military personnel.

    If all Government controlled institutions had policies favouring farmed seafood sourced in their own countries and aligned that with forward thinking food specialists like Preet Singh, then we would create not only terrific opportunities for aquaculture producers but a far better world!

    Pleased to say the Fishmonger is no longer on drugs but the dream lives on….


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