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Editors desk

Aquaculture like many industries can be circular in its outlook and many areas go in and out of fashion, for example, various technologies that were advocated decades ago but require reintroduction and refinement for the present age.

Fish nutrition is just like that and what are claimed to be new discoveries to enhance fish feed and shrimp formulations may sometimes have been utilised previously in some other guises.

An example is the new interest in single cell proteins such as bacterial derived protein similar to a product developed in the 1970s and 1980s using hydrocarbon feed stock. This UK innovation proved very effective until the economic situation resulting from the energy crisis and war in the Middle East proved constraining.

The material had an excellent nutritional profile with respect to amino acid composition and gave very good performance for salmonid fish in numerous experimental studies. In fact one of my earliest papers in 1989 demonstrated the effectiveness of a lysine fodder bacterial protein being a feasible ingredient for juvenile tilapia.

This was a by-product from the production of lysine from a spent bacterial source; apart from lysine supplementation I was able to replace the entire soya bean and most fishmeal in tilapia diets.

It is good to see commercial interest in this area and I am hopeful it can add to our growing list of sustainable feed ingredients and feed additives for use in a wide spectrum of species. Developments in the unicellular algae arena are also very interesting, although back in 1980, a postgraduate student from Ghana was actively showing the benefits of his cultured algae to tilapia in Stirling University with amazing potential under the supervision of Dr Kim Jauncey.

More lately we are seeing claims that were first demonstrated decades ago in peer -reviewed scientific articles for many similar SCP’s and their virtues in fish and shrimp feed formulations. Likewise we see resurgence in yeast and yeast derived functional products well tested in the 1970s by European scientists and also the effective use of blood meals, feather meals, rendered meat meals from poultry and other terrestrial animal production systems.

What has really changed is the advanced processing technologies, new legislative requirements, attitudes relating to food safety and the transparency of the food chain with new codes of practice being introduced globally. Indeed the question of marine protein use related to cost more than the perception of ethics and availability and pressure on wild fisheries resources in the late 20th Century. The main driver for research then was mainly economic and the El Nino events that hit the Peruvian Fisheries in the 70s. This resulted in a plethora of research development forming the basis of many PhD projects to examine alternatives.

Today we also speak of fish health and welfare as a major topic of concern so ingredient choice also needs to address other criteria beyond just growth and optimum feed conversion ratio. The robust fish and shrimp is high on our target as we face new emerging disease threats as well as old foes in a complex aquatic environment and new types of aquaculture production systems like RAS and Aquaponics where we may require a new generation of feeds.

We are now entering the autumn in the Northern hemisphere and next month we turn back our clocks. It’s that time of the year where I will have to adjust to my own local photoperiod conditions but it will be at least a good time for writing grant applications, scientific papers and refining my lecture notes with updates and new facts in a rapidly changing area under cover from the elements.

I have much to look forward to, 2018 will be a defining moment where a long sequence of chapters is concluded after 32 years and an exciting new phase begins.

The transition from the world of academia to a fresh commercial outlook. I have served longer than any US President (Roosevelt had almost 4 terms) and most Popes including John Paul II, having survived for the most part.

Turning to this issue, we have some major news reports and interesting articles and features as usual covering several domains. We have our topical special species section this month being white shrimp (Litopenaeus setiferus).

I am grateful for all the contributions and technical reports especially. Please be sure to obtain full support for these from your sources and proof read well to professional input into our magazine. I look forward to meeting some of you in forthcoming events and symposia.
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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