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- a leading information sources for the global Aquafeed industries
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Features in this issue include:
- Aquaculture takes centre stage at Monaco Blue Initiative 2015
- India - Aqua feeds and feeding trends
- Advanced lessons in economics
- Aquaculture in ghana - Alternative feed sources
- Aquaculture in ghana - Commercial floating feeds for pond culture of tilapia in Ghana
- Lecithin as a rich energy source with nutritional performance
- Industry profile: Dr Eckel
- EXPERT TOPIC: Tilapia
- Fish Farming Technology supplement - Technology on display - Aqua Nor
I am now entering my 30th year in academia and quite a milestone to say the least. With many Masters and PhD completions completed in Plymouth, perhaps it is indeed a time of reflection and a chance to build on new opportunities and challenges that may present themselves in the future. When many may consider retirement, I trust that I will get a chance to forge new avenues for the development of aquaculture and, in particular, the aquafeed industry and the nutritional sciences that are so important for the prospect of a sustainable and affordable basis for fish production, welfare and health of stock. As a consequence, I have just recently taken up a new appointment at Harper Adams University in West Central England to spearhead a new initiative to create a new English Aquaculture Centre for teaching and research. I will keep you all posted, but it’s going to be a busy time again before I take up angling for good!
I have seen so many changes in the fish farming industry over the last three decades and a major shift in the type of supporting research and technologies being applied, many have made vast differences to the efficiency and performance of fish and shrimp with significant improvements in survival throughout the various stages of production. There have been great strides in the formulation of more refined diets based on better data obtained from comprehensive digestibility trials for more precise diet balance with protein, amino acids and energy availability characterised for numerous feed ingredients for different species of fish. Also more attention has been given to the incorporation of alternative feed ingredients that continues to contribute greatly to feeds with a vast array of commodities and materials at our disposal on a global basis.
There is a constant stream of scientific research evaluating all manner of natural proteins, energy rich nutrients derived from traditional sources or from novel ingredients and especially micro-organisms like algae, yeasts and bacteria that are now becoming topical areas for consideration in a variety of aquafeeds. This has also been associated with a plethora of interest in their functional properties and potential health benefits in aquaculture. Although there is excellent research evidence for corroborating the efficacy of many of these feed additives and supplements in a variety of species of fish, we must always caution against great claims of ‘wonder effects’ without proper scientific scrutiny. Hence, the role of the expert reviewer in peer-reviewed journals that provide the academic rigour to underpinning research in fish nutrition.
Another area of progress in the last 10 years has been the use of new containment systems for fish based on advances in aquaculture engineering with the wider use of closed recirculation systems. These new concepts pose more challenges for generating superior diets for fish to minimise their impact on water quality whilst presenting the correct nutritional balance for fish growth and production as well as promoting fish quality and good marketability of the product in terms of taste and texture.
Similarly, the construction of deep-water offshore platforms for submersible sea cages for marine fish cultivation has advanced. These systems will require a rethinking of the feed strategies and feed quality issues for specific marine fish species in such locations ranging from temperate to tropical climates. I expect great strides in the future expansion of mariculture using such technologies and we must address the needs of the industry in this direction.
One concern is the practicality of research directives at present with much emphasis (due to research funding pressure) on the so-called ‘-omics’. Whilst such terms as ‘genomics, metabolomics and proteomics’ that form the basis of a molecular basis to our fundamental understanding of fish nutrition has an important place in our arsenal of research tools, we must not lose sight that fish farmers and feed companies require good practical information that allows the application of knowledge at a fundamental and applied level that is easy to put into effect.
The quest by scientists for the ‘highest impact’ scientific paper may not translate comfortably to the practising fish farmer who at the end of the day is more tuned to fish growth performance and feed conversion than the ‘gene expression’ for a specific nutrient or trait. Scientists can often lose themselves in their own world and become ignorant of the demands of society for translational research leading to real benefits.
We would be failing in our mission if we only focused on a narrow path of scientific disciplines or self-interest in a particular area of fish nutrition without seeing the ‘bigger picture’. To our detriment we increasingly see this now in the appointments of ‘fish nutritionists’ in academic posts who seem to fail to appreciate the wider context of applied fish nutrition and feed technology. The science of fish nutrition should be embedded with a sound grasp of core animal nutrition as well.
Moving on! In this late summer issue we have a number of interesting features including our focus on tilapia production in India as our special fish species topic.
India is a dynamic player in the global arena and we also review its range of commodities, raw materials and development in the aquafeed sector in an Asian context.
With President Obama recently saying that Africa is on the move, it is opportune to focus on Ghana’s activities with its growing aquaculture industry and strong support of tilapia for both domestic consumption and export.
We also report on the 6th Monaco Blue Initiative which was held in the Monaco Yacht Club in late June held by HSH Prince Albert II and his Monaco foundation. Its theme focused on ‘Feeding and fueling the world through sustainable aquaculture’. Our publisher Roger Gilbert and writer Roy Palmer were initiated to participate in two of the four panels held and their report is in this issue.
Our team travelled to Germany in June to report on the production of feed additives from the Dr Eckel factory in Niederzissen, which is just south of Bonn to the west of the Rhein River. They were most impressed with the production facilities and the work being done of fish nutrition.
We also report on a lesson in ‘advanced economics’ for the aquaculture and fisheries sector with much to learn indeed. I hope that our masters in the funding agencies and our ministers of finance in Europe are listening and making sure of the information for investment and development.
Please enjoy our full range of other news items, focus group reports and blogs as we cover the broader range of international aquafeed topics of interest as usual.
Professor Simon Davies
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International Aquafeed reflects a passion for aquafeed and excitement about new technology. Our objective is to be a respected provider of information about aquafeed in the widest sense.
Feed makes up around 70 percent of the cost of producing farmed fish. In each issue, we take an in-depth look at a wide range of technical issues associated with aquafeed production and use. We bring our readers global news about new technology and research, feed ingredients and micro-ingredients, market trends and all issues that impact on the aquafeed supply chain today and tomorrow.
We have a deep commitment to our readers and our advertisers. We believe in quality information and quality design, just as you believe in the quality of your products.
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IAF September - October 2015
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