Raising Funds for an Intensive Shrimp Farm
On November 19, 2007, I interviewed Jim Keeton, founder and president of Keeton Fisheries, which, since 1972, has supplied “biological restoration systems for lake and pond environments” based on aeration, beneficial microbes and biofiltration. Keeton, who has been in the aquaculture business for 35 years and sits on the board of the National Aquaculture Association, is raising funds for a new shrimp farming venture called Aqua Technology Ventures, Inc.
Shrimp News: How far along are you with Aqua Technology Ventures?
Jim Keeton: We’ve taken some of the things we’ve learned from the use of bacteria in intensive and super-intensive facilities in Latin America and incorporated them into the design of our indoor, closed-system, shrimp farm. We plan to use geothermal water to cut our heating costs. We might even be able to get free natural gas to heat our insulated buildings from the blow-off of oil wells in our area. That would really cut costs in the super-intensive, bacterial floc system that we have designed.
Shrimp News: Do you have the money together for the project?
Jim Keeton: We’re in the process of getting the money together right now. Bill May, the financial director for the Aqua Technology Ventures project, is talking with investor groups. We have a number of companies and individuals calling about investing in the project. Bill is a financial planner and money raiser. We plan to start with a pilot project that will include shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) and tilapia. We have a good market for fresh tilapia and shrimp right here in Denver.
Shrimp News: When do you anticipate getting started?
Jim Keeton: We hope to get started with the pilot project in the spring of 2008. We’ll probably start with several tanks of shrimp and tilapia. We plan to run them for a full year to show our investors that it isn’t some pie-in-the-sky scheme. We’re going to encourage our investors to come in and watch the development of the pilot project so they can see the process under development and see that it really works. We want to make sure we can develop the level of production that we think is possible with our system. We hope to have the commercial-scale farm completed by the end of 2009.
We think we can raise the money for the project right here in Fort Collins because there is so much oil money and investment going on all around us. Only two miles from my office, there’s hot water available that’s blow-off from all the oil drilling that’s going on around here. It goes through a state-of-the-art cleaning process and is stripped of all impurities and reinjected into the aquifer. We can use it, in conjunction with free natural gas, so that our heating costs would be nil.
Shrimp News: How big will the project be?
Jim Keeton: Harvesting each tank three times a year, we hope to produce six million pounds of shrimp a year, which equates to 115,000 pounds a week. We’ll probably employ 200 people.
Shrimp News: What kind of building to you plan use?
Jim Keeton: Insulated, steel buildings with waterproof shells on the inside. They are fast and easy to construct and very durable. Unlike greenhouses, they can withstand all weather conditions, and they last for decades.
Shrimp News: Do you plan to heat the air in the buildings and let it heat the water, or do you plan to heat the water directly?
Jim Keeton: We have always found that it’s cheaper to heat the water with heat exchangers than to heat the air. The water in the tanks heats the air.
Shrimp News: What kind of tanks to you plan to use?
Jim Keeton: Basically a rectangular tank with rounded corners and a divider running down the middle. The water will flow around the divider. The tanks will have standpipes at both ends so that we can drain them from either end. I also plan to use horizontal substrates that will allow us to increase densities. The organisms that grow on the substrates also act as filters, and bioflocs provide additional feed for the shrimp.
Shrimp News: How do you plan to aerate?
Jim Keeton: We’ve been studying aeration and closed systems for almost 25 years now—that’s our business—and we have really developed some good technology for oxygen injection. We’ll probably use oxygen generators as well as diffuse air systems.
Shrimp News: Do shrimp farms like the one you are describing pose any regulatory problems in the state of Colorado?
Jim Keeton: I have carte blanche to grow shrimp in Colorado under a Department of Agriculture permit and don’t require permits from the Department of Fish and Game. I can raise freshwater prawns (Macrobrachium rosenbergii) or any variety of penaeid shrimp, for example, Penaeus vannamei or P. monodon.
Shrimp News: What about discharge standards on the organic matter that accumulates in your system?
Jim Keeton: We’re going to be very careful about discharges. First off, we don’t expect large amounts of organics to accumulate in our system because everything will be kept in suspension and metabolized by the high levels of oxygen in the system and by our proprietary bacteria. The organics that do occur will be treated in a settling pond and disposed of.
Shrimp News: In one of the newspaper articles about your shrimp venture, I read about Ben Emerson and his Quantum Cooker. What’s a “Quantum Cooker”?
Jim Keeton: I met Ben Emerson over 15 years ago through some associates in the aquaculture industry, and since then we have worked on several projects together. Ben has followed Keeton Industries development and is very interested in our shrimp rearing technology. Ben’s Quantum Cooker, a USDA-approved proprietary system, is a real breakthrough. It cooks shrimp quickly with less than 5% water loss, and in some cases, with less than 1% water loss. With conventional cooking processes, the water loss is 15 to 20%.
Shrimp News: Tell me a little about your bioremediation products as they relate to shrimp farming.
Jim Keeton: I’ve been working for the last ten years in Latin America, specifically in Peru, Chile, Ecuador and recently in Brazil. We have developed several products for shrimp ponds. One of them is for organic waste digestion and biological oxygen demand reduction. As you probably know, there are a lot of “snake-oil” products in the bioremediation field that have hurt those of us that attempt to develop products that really work. Our products are based on science and testing on farms. For example, we have the only USA government patented probiotic, “Lymnozyme”. It’s proven to be very effective against Vibrios. We’ve tested it on large shrimp farms in Latin America. In some old shrimp ponds in Ecuador, our waste and sludge reducer (“WSR”) ate through a meter of old sludge on the bottom of the ponds. On some farms, where we closed the loop and recirculated all the water, the Vibrios and other pathogens are now pretty much nonexistent. We helped develop this method in Latin America.
The pure product is too expensive to treat the large shrimp ponds in Latin America, so we’ve developed a multiplication/incubation process that allows farmers to reproduce it on site and lower their treatment cost to about $50 to $70 per hectare per crop. In some cases, it might cost $100, but when you double production, the price becomes almost insignificant. We sell a packet of microbes and bio-nutrients that allows farmers to produce 2,000 liters of full-strength product in 24 hours. They apply it at the rate of 100 liters per hectare per week, and it eliminates Vibrios, Pseudomonas, Aeromonas, Streptococcus and problems with off-flavor. It has really turned some of these farms around. We also use Lymnozyme in feeds and in the pond in conjunction with our waste and sludge reducer, a multiple Bacillus and non- pathogenic Pseudomonas formula that contains seven species of bacteria.
Information: Jim Keeton, Keeton Industries, Inc., P.O. Box 249, Wellington, Colorado, USA (phone 1-800-493-4831, fax 970-568-7795, email firstname.lastname@example.org, webpage http://www.keetonaqua.com).
Sources: 1. Jim Keeton. Interview by Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International on November 19, 2007. 2. Northern Colorado Business Report. NoCo shrimp farm in works (http://www.ncbr.com/article.asp?id=89862). November 15, 2007. 3. FortCollinsNow.com. Forget Oysters; How About Some Rocky Mountain Shrimp (http://www.fortcollinsnow.com /article/20071122/BUSINESS/71121013). Christopher Ortiz (email@example.com). November 22, 2007.
Gender Wage Gap
A seminar entitled “Advocacy to Combat Gender Violence in Shrimp Cultivation Areas of Satkhira” was recently held in southwest Bangladesh, where women account for 50% of the shrimp farming workforce. Despite laws that require equal pay for equal work, women receive less pay than men.
At the seminar, Nasima, an unmarried, shrimp farm worker, complained about the disparity in pay, saying, “At the same time, delayed payment, misbehavior and sexual harassment by the owners or supervisors or male coworkers are regular occurrences. Fear of threat to lose job is associated with the harassment.”
Nurul Islam, owner of a shrimp farm in the Satkhira District, said, “It is true that we engage female laborers in our shrimp cultivation field as we pay $0.73 [a day?] for a female worker, while for a male worker we have to pay $1.02.” He said female pay was only $0.44 a few months ago, but has now been increased due to advocacy by nongovernment organizations.
Some shrimp farm owners allow women and children to rest during working hours, pay for sick leave, provide toilet facilities and take measures to stop the teasing by male workers.
Source: The Daily Star. Reduce Gender Wage Gap in Shrimp Cultivation Field (http://www.thedailystar.net/story.php?nid=13653). November 30, 2007.
In mid-November 2007, prices of Peruvian fish meal began to rise when China bought 200,000 metric tons, an action that stimulated purchasing inquiries from Europe, Vietnam and Taiwan. Prices of prime-grade Peruvian fish meal (protein 67/histamine 1000) were recently quoted at $950 to $1,000 a ton. Current contracts account for about 40% of the fish meal to be produced in the second half of the season, setting the stage for further price increases.
Source: Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service). Prices of Peruvian fish meal firming on expanded demand prompted by China’s buying. Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 781-861-1441, email firstname.lastname@example.org). November 30, 2007.
Farm For Sale
A profitable, five-hectare, white shrimp farm on Nicoya Bay is for sale for $350,000. It currently produces 60,000 kilograms of shrimp annually. In 2006, gross income was $135,000 with operating expenses of 40% of gross income. Buyers come to the farm to pick up the harvest for about $3 per kilo. The sale includes equipment and a house for the farm manager. The marine biologist who manages the farm is willing to continue his services. The property includes a lifetime lease and permits. Environmental studies and management plans are available and transferable. There is space for the construction of another home.
The manager’s house has 1,000 square feet, two bedrooms, two full baths, one phone line, a dial-up Internet connection (56k modem), cable TV and hot water.
Information: Dale Johnson, Specialist in Agricultural Development (cell phone 506-269-7856).
Source: American European Real Estate Group. Shrimp Farm on Gulf of Nicoya (http://www.american-european.net/properties/index.php?action=listingview&listingID=2348). No date. Site visit on December 10, 2007.
Ginger Enriched Artemia
In this study, Penaeus monodon postlarvae were fed Artemia enriched with ginger (Zingiber officinalis). After 30 days of culture (PL-1 through PL-30), the postlarvae fed the enriched diet consumed 40% more Artemia than those fed the unenriched diet. The enriched diet produced significantly higher weight gain and growth, and digestive enzyme activity (amylase, protease and lipase) also increased significantly.
Source: Electronical Larviculture Newsletter (http://www.rug.ac.be/aquaculture). Editor Gilbert Van Stappen (email@example.com). Abstract/Zingiber Officinalis an Herbal Appetizer in the Tiger Shrimp Penaeus Monodon (Fabricius) Larviculture. K. Venkatramalingam, J. Godwin Christopher (firstname.lastname@example.org) and T. Citarasu (Marine Biotechnology Lab, Centre for Marine Science and Technology, Manonmaniam Sundaranar University Rajakkamangalam, Tamil Nadu, India). Issue-277. November 15, 2007.
New Testing Equipment
In the state of Andhra Pradesh, antibiotic testing laboratories for shrimp will soon be set up in the cities of Nellore, Ongole and Bhimavaram by the Seafood Exporters’ Association of India (SEAI) and India’s Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA).
The labs will start operations by the end of January 2008, according SEAI, which decided to set them up near shrimp farming areas in order to comply with the quality norms laid down by the European Union, the USA and Japan. The total cost of the three labs was more than $250,000.
Although SEAI has previously set up testing labs at major processing centers in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh, this is the first time that facilities have been set up in farming areas. SEAI also plans to set up a similar facility in Balasore, in the state of Orissa.
The second phase of a much larger testing lab in the state of Kerala, where almost 50 percent of the marine products processing units are located, recently received accreditation from the National Accreditation Board for Laboratories and will be completed by December 2007. This facility, one of the best in Southeast Asia, will have additional equipment such as a spectro photometer, turbidity meter and iron chromatograph. The equipment was imported from Germany, the USA and Japan. SEAI, with the financial support of the ministry of commerce, invested over $1 million in this facility.
Source: Business Standard. Marine Testing Centers to Be Set Up in AP (http://www.business-standard.com/smartinvestor/storypage.php?leftnm=lmnu6&subLeft=11&autono=305903&tab=r). George Joseph. November 30, 2007.
CP Prima Expects Shrimp Sales of One Billion Dollars in 2008!
PT Central Proteinaprima (CP Prima), the world’s largest shrimp farm, will spend up to $242 million to revitalize two of its huge shrimp farms—PT Wachyuni Mandira and PT Aruna Wijaya Sakti (formerly PT Dipasena Citra Darmaja)—in Lampung Province, Sumatra.
CP Prima acquired Dipasena in May 2007 after the government announced that the farm could not pay its debts to the state. The farm first got into trouble following the country’s financial crisis in 1998. Dipasena, renamed Aruna Wijaya Sakti, resumed operations soon after being acquired by CP Prima. The revitalization, which will include the refurbishing of machinery and the reopening of abandoned ponds, will be conducted in stages through the middle of 2009.
On December 4, 2007, Gunawan Taslim, CP Prima’s chief financial officer, said, “The revitalization program for Wachyuni Mandira will be completed by the end of this year, while that for Aruna Wijaya Sakti will begin in January 2008 and will be completed within 12 to 16 months.” Taslim said that both farms have hatcheries, ponds, feed mills, processing plants and power plants. In November 2007, their combined monthly production of shrimp from 76,000 hectares of ponds increased to 1,479 tons, from 705 tons in May 2007.
CP Prima also owns PT Central Pertiwi Bahari, another huge shrimp farm in Lampung Province.
To concentrate on its core shrimp business, CP Prima sold its poultry feed plant in Semarang, Central Java, for $11.6 million to affiliate PT Charoen Pokphand Indonesia in exchange for a five-million-dollar shrimp feed mill and $6.5 million in cash.
CP Prima’s assets have more than doubled to $842 million from $343 million in 2006.
Taslim said that CP Prima booked $20 million in net profit during the first nine months of 2007, almost 27 percent higher than the $15.7 million recorded in the same period of 2006.
In 2007, the company’s January-September net sales reached $452 million, up 15 percent from $394 million in the same period of 2006.
CP Prima expects revenues of $702 million in 2007 and a net profit in the region of $36 million.
“We expect to book $1.1 billion in revenues in 2008,” Taslim added.
Google Earth: If you have Google Earth (free, but you must download it from Google’s website, http://earth.google.com) installed on your computer, you can view the above farms in incredible detail. Type “Sumatra” into the search box in the upper left-hand corner of Google Earth’s home page and hit return. The island of Sumatra will fill your screen. Use the controls in the upper right hand corner of the map to zero in on the southeast coast, which will be in the bottom right hand corner of your screen. I guarantee that you will be absolutely amazed by what you see—huge shrimp farms along the entire 200-mile coast.
Sources: 1. Jakarta Post. CP Prima Earmarks $242m to Up Performance. ADT. December 5, 2007. 2. Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International, December 14, 2007.
Jeff Shields (email@example.com), who manages the Crust-L mailing list (very similar to the The Shrimp List), posted the following email to Crust-L on behalf of Nuno Simoes.
Nuno Simoes (firstname.lastname@example.org): Just received mail from a friend about a new web project called “The Encyclopedia of Life” (http://www.eol.org/home.html), a website similar to Wikipedia, where all living species will be listed.
Apparently, information on crustaceans is being organized into large databases like the Crustacea.net (http://www.crustacea.net) and the Tree of Life projects (http://decapoda.nhm.org). Could that data be compiled, shared and readily available within a project like the Encyclopedia of Life? The Crustacea.net webpage and the decapods in the Tree of Live webpage contain a lot of general information on crustaceans, but they are designed more for the professional biologists, rather than lay people that might be interested in mining information on crustaceans.
Does anybody know of a single-stop webpage where all (or most) the crustacean species are listed? Could the Encyclopedia of Life project be a meeting point? Does the Crustacean Society have a role/position in the Crustacean.net and Tree of Life and Encyclopedia of Life projects? I am just curious on what you fellows think about all of this.
Information: Nuno Simoes, Associate Professor, C de TC Unidad Multidisciplinaria de Docencia e Investigación - Sisal (UMDI-Sisal), Facultad de Ciencias, UNAM, Yucatán, México (phone 01-988-912-01, email email@example.com).
Joel W. Martin (firstname.lastname@example.org): The Tree of Life project, which you referred to in your message (http://decapoda.nhm.org), targets Decapoda only, and we are currently compiling a list of all families and genera of decapods, extinct and extant, and providing estimates of the species number within each genus, along with all of the associated references.
Several members of our team do in fact have complete lists of all species within several of the major decapod groups, and these workers are currently involved in various efforts to publish or otherwise make available these species lists (for example, Sammy De Grave for caridean shrimp; Gary Poore and colleagues on galatheids; Peter Davie, Peter Ng and Daniele Guinot on crabs; and others).
All members of the Decapoda Tree of Life group are members of The Crustacean Society, which is cosponsoring our upcoming symposium on decapod phylogeny this coming January. So yes, the Crustacean Society does have some representation on this front.
Mark Costello (email@example.com): There is an open access, online system for marine species at www.marinespecies.org.
The site has a common database with separate views for different taxa and regional inventories for many taxa. There is a “taxon match” tool so users can upload a list of names to cross check with the names in the system. All the names are edited by taxonomic authorities, including several crustacean experts, regardless of where they live. They do not have to worry about how the database is maintained, backed up and developed because it is hosted by a national government-funded marine data center whose mission is to maintain databases. Next year we hope to develop web services to supply correct names to desktop databases at other institutions. Of course, we work with experts to apply for funding to expand the content and develop the system whenever possible. As you can imagine, where there are many species in a taxon, the editors often welcome dividing the work amongst colleagues. We do not stop with species names, but include synonyms, images, literature references, distribution, ecology and more as experts and various projects have the time to enter it. Thus it will always grow. As with the literature, it will have mistakes and need updating, so it will be only as good as people make it.
We are always looking for volunteers to join the editorial board or to act as reviewers of particular taxa. We welcome any offers of collaboration and suggestions. We have a goal of trying to fill current gaps in authoritative lists of marine species by the end of 2008 and create a “World Register of Marine Species”. We are less than half way there to date. And this is only a target. There is a lot more to be done, so we are working with Encyclopedia of Life, the Ocean Biogeographic Information System and others to maximize the synergy of our effort.
We have already provided some names to Species 2000 for the Annual Catalogue of Life CD and will be providing names to Ocean Biogeographic Information System and Encyclopedia of Life as well.
Information: Dr. Mark J. Costello, Leigh Marine Laboratory, University of Auckland, P.O. Box 349, Warkworth 0941, New Zealand (phone 64-9-373-7599, extension 83608, fax 64-9-422-6113, email firstname.lastname@example.org, website www.marine.auckland.ac.nz).
Information: The Crust-L list is an email-based mailing list for crustacean scientists. Subscribing to and unsubscribing from Crust-L are easy. To subscribe, send an email to LISTPROC@VIMS.EDU. In the body of the email, put SUBSCRIBE CRUST-L, followed by your first and last names (not your email address). To unsubscribe, send an email to: LISTPROC@VIMS.EDU. In the body of the email, put UNSUBSCRIBE CRUST-L. To post a message to the list send an email to CRUST-L@VIMS.EDU. You must subscribe before sending your first message.
Source: The Crust-L Mailing List. Subject: Crustaceans in the encyclopedia of life? May 22, 2007, and November 27 and 30, 2007.
Exporting Shrimp Through Bangladesh
Burmese shrimp exporters in the state of Arakan, which borders Bangladesh, expect to continue increasing shrimp exports, both farmed and fished, to Bangladesh. An official said that Burma exported 290 tons of shrimp to Bangladesh in fiscal year 2005-2006 and 414 tons in fiscal year 2006-2007. In the first half of fiscal year 2007-2008, 680 tons were exported, and over 1,000 tons will probably be exported by the end of the year.
In previous years, Arakanese shrimp traders exported their shrimp to China and Singapore through shrimp exporting companies in Rangoon and Mandalay, Burma, but this trade ceased two years ago because of the high cost of transportation, difficult monetary transactions and long shipping times. Arakanese shrimp traders find it much easier to send their shrimp across the nearby Bangladesh border.
According to a Burmese report, the state of Arakan has 155,533 acres of shrimp farms that produce 16,500 tons of shrimp a year. Shrimp fishermen add another 16,000 tons a year.
Source: Narinjara. Shrimp Exports to Bangladesh Increase this Fiscal Year (http://www.narinjara.com/details.asp?id=1533). December 1, 2007.
When Leonila Arguerro returns to the Philippines, after working for years as a nurse in England, she is looking forward to investing her money in shrimp farming in Zambales Province on the island of Luzon.
From July 7 to September 9, 2007, while in England, she completed an intensive radio course on Penaeus vannamei farming conducted by government agencies and private entities (the Santeh Feeds Corporation) in the Philippines.
The course was aired in a weekly program called “Bago ‘Yan, Ah”. She enrolled in the course and diligently participated from the United Kingdom. Although the program was aired in the Philippines on Sundays from 4:00 to 6:30 p.m., she heard it in England from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., her off hours.
The course consisted of expert lectures on Penaeus vannamei farming, followed by a question that the enrollees answered with their cell phones. The 315 graduates received their certificates of completion at a graduation ceremony held on November 16, 2007, at the Asian Fisheries Academy in Dagupan City. The graduates included fish farmers, fishery technicians, students and businessmen. Arguerro received her certificate in absentia.
Source: Tateh Online (Santeh Feeds Corporation). White Shrimp Farming Gains Momentum (http://tateh-aquafeeds.blogspot.com/2007/12/white-shrimp-farming-gains-momentum.html). Rudy A. Fernandez. December 2, 2007.
Follow That Shrimp
The government recently initiated a pilot project called “Traceshrimp”, an Internet-based system that will make Thai shrimp fully traceable. It tracks inputs from feed producers, hatcheries, nurseries, farms, distributors and processors. Dr. Waraporn Prompoj, with the Thai Department of Fisheries and the creator of the project, says, “The idea developed from a manual traceability system we put in place in 2001 that was cumbersome because of the volume of paperwork.”
Using codes from their suppliers, buyers can trace Thai shrimp in real time with the new system. The data show where the shrimp was produced, how it was produced, when it was moved, what treatments it received and what it was fed, including the source of the feed ingredients. If the shrimp were analyzed or tested, those results are also available. “This is a completely transparent system that must have every box on the page filled in before shrimp can be moved to the next part of the chain,” says Waraporn. “This in turn reassures buyers that the shrimp they are purchasing is of the highest quality in terms of product safety.” Information can be searched by a lot number, invoice number, delivery bill number or operational date.
A government-run Code of Conduct (CoC) program and the industry’s Good Aquaculture Practice (GAP) system focuses on environmentally friendly production, quality, safety, disease control, health and hygiene. Testing for nitrofurans, malachite green and chloramphenicol is mandatory. GAP is mandatory for farmers while CoC remains voluntary, however 28,000 of the country’s 30,000 shrimp farms and hatcheries have accepted the CoC protocols.
Source: Fish Farming International (http://www.fishfarminginternational.com). Editor, Kenny McCaffrey (email@example.com). Traceability for safety. Volume 34, Number 11, Page 14, November 2007.
Shrimp Exports to Drop in 2008
Poj Aramwattananont, president of the Thai Frozen Foods Association, said shrimp exports were likely to see little growth in 2008 because of weak economies in the United States and Japan. Compared with 2006, the value of Thai shrimp exports in the first 10 months of 2007 declined by 2.01% to $1.78 billion, but Poj hoped the value would be up 5% for the full year because sales usually rise during the last two months of the year, the holiday season.
Source: BangkokPost.com. Baht and High Costs to Hit Food Exports. Phuadee Arunmas. November 29, 2007.
Turks and Caicos Islands
Red Lobster Getting into Lobster Farming
In this three-minute video, the Honorable McAllister Hanchell, the Minister of Natural Resources in the Turks and Caicos Islands, a British Overseas Territory in the West Indies (21°53'N, 71°47'W), talks about a partnership with Red Lobster and Olive Gardens to develop lobster farming. “Over a period of three to five years, they are going to be conducting research out of South Caicos and Providenciales...to see if it is sustainable to have a...contained area where...aquaculture is going to be taking place. They are estimating to spend between seven to ten million dollars...on the research.” On October 24, 2007, the Cabinet of Turks and Caicos Islands approved the venture, but a final agreement with Red Lobster has not been reached yet. Hanchell said, the project will “positions us to do aquaculture of lobster and other species.”
Information: You can view the video at (http://wiv4.wordpress.com/2007/12/03/new-lobster-aquaculture-research-in-the-turks-and-caicos-islands).
Source: WIV4NEWS. New Lobster Aquaculture Research in the Turks and Caicos Islands. December 3, 2007.
Florida—Will Insects Replace Fish Meal?
On November 4, 2007, Neptune Industries, Inc., an aquaculture technology company, announced that Phase II trials on the company’s Ento-Protein™research had been successfully completed. Ento-Protein, a patent-pending, high protein meal derived from the mass production of insects, is a high-quality, sustainable protein that is intended to be a replacement for fishmeal. Phase I selected four species of suitable insects based upon a myriad of key production and nutritional parameters. Phase II trials proved that fish fed a diet containing Ento-Protein actually tasted better than those fed fishmeal. The final trial, Phase III, will be used to select the proper blend of insects to achieve the fastest growth rate and optimum digestibility in farm raised fish. The company anticipates completing the Phase III trial in the first quarter of 2008. It will then construct its first pilot production facility and plans to have product on the market by year’s end.
Source: PR Newswire.com. Neptune Industries Reports Favorable Phase II Trial Results on Ento-Protein/Results Set Stage for Development of Sustainable, Organic Livestock and Fish Feeds (http://sev.prnewswire.com/agriculture/20071204/CLTU02804122007-1.html). December 4, 2007.
New Jersey—Epicore BioNetworks, Inc.
In its first quarter report for fiscal year 2008 (covering the period from July 2007 through September 2007), Epicore BioNetworks, Inc., a public corporation that supplies probiotics and hatchery feeds to shrimp farmers worldwide, said:
Epicore’s business got off to a good start in the first quarter of fiscal year 2008 with sales increasing over the record first quarter of fiscal year 2007. Historically, Epicore’s first fiscal quarter has been its weakest, but the last two years have bucked this trend because of strong sales growth in the southern hemisphere. Revenues increased 5% over 2007 ($615,600 versus $587,000); however, gross profit decreased slightly ($398,700 versus $422,700). Expenses at $346,100 were 5% above the prior year because the company incurred increased marketing expenses. Epicore recorded net income of $39,800 versus $93,600 in the first quarter of 2007. Net income per share for the current quarter was $0.002 versus $0.004 a year ago.
Quarterly sales reflected the company’s commitment to aquaculture and its strong position in the world shrimp farming markets. Aquaculture represents over 97% of sales. Ecuador remained the largest sales country, despite lower sales in the farm sector due to intense competition. EPICIN, an in-feed probiotic, continued to offer Ecuadorian farmers the best performance for the money, but lower unit-priced probiotics took market share. Ecuadorian hatchery sales benefited from new products, like EPILITE liquid feeds and EPICIN-G2, a new probiotic. Sales grew in Central and the rest of South America for EPIFEED-MBF, a maturation feed. Sales increased in Asia as major hatcheries employed Epicore products in their switch from Penaeus monodon to P. vannamei. The region represents 80% of world shrimp aquaculture production and now contributes a significant percentage to Epicore’s sales.
Cash at the end of September 2007 was $500 thousand versus $160 thousand at the end of 2006.
Epicore BioNetworks, Inc., is a public corporation with a registered office in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It shares are listed on the Canada’s TSX Venture Exchange (symbol EBN).
Information: William Long, Chief Executive Officer, Epicore BioNetworks, Inc., 4 Lina Lane, East Hampton, NJ 08060 USA (phone 609-267-9118, fax 609-267-9336, email firstname.lastname@example.org, webpage www.epicorebionetworks.com).
Source: Epicore BioNetworks, Inc. News Release. Epicore 2008 First Quarter Results for the period ended 30 September 2007. November 29, 2007.
South Carolina—Job, Hollings Marine Lab
The Hollings Marine Lab in Charleston has a postdoctoral position open for the study of the physiological and immunological responses to disease pathogens in shrimp, crabs and oysters.
Salary: $38,000, plus benefits.
Closing Date: December 31, 2007.
Description: This position is available immediately. The laboratory uses a broad array of molecular, cellular, tissue and whole animal techniques to understand the impacts of environmental change on the host:pathogen relationship in marine organisms. Applicants must have a Ph.D. in a relevant area of research. Preference will be given to candidates who have used multiple techniques to address a single scientific problem and to individuals who can work well in a collaborative team. Training or experience in marine biology is preferred, but not required. The research laboratory is located in the Hollings Marine Laboratory (http://www.hml.noaa.gov) at Fort Johnson in Charleston, South Carolina, a facility occupied by five partner institutions including the College of Charleston. This NSF/NOAA grant-funded position has a minimum duration of two years.
Information: Candidates should send curriculum vitae and the names of three references to Dr. Karen Burnett, College of Charleston, Grice Marine Laboratory, 205 Fort Johnson, Charleston, SC 29412 USA (phone 843-762-8933, email email@example.com). Additional information about the lab’s research and location is available at www.cofc.edu/~burnettk.
Source: AquaNic (The Aquaculture Network Information Center, a gateway to the world’s electronic aquaculture resources, http://aquanic.org/index.htm). Jobs Directory (http://www.aquanic.org/Text/job_serv.htm) In cooperation with the WAS Employment Service. Search jobs (http://aquanic.org/jobs/search.asp). Postdoc, Physiology & Immunology of Marine Organisms (http://aquanic.org/jobs/jobinfo.asp?jobid=2650). November 28, 2007.
Washington DC—Consumers Union Supports Closed System Shrimp Farming
In an interview on Living on Earth (National Public Radio, http://www.loe.org/about/about.htm), host Steve Curwood asked Urvashi Rangan, senior scientist and policy analyst with Consumers Union (rates consumer products, http://www.consumerreports.com), several questions about organic aquaculture. Here are some excerpts from the interview that mention shrimp farming:
Curwood: Some fish could be farmed organically more easily than others. Which ones are they?
Rangan: There are a variety of fish that are raised in what are called “closed systems”, tanks and ponds that recirculate their water. Shrimp and tilapia are examples.
Curwood: What are some of the positive impacts that granting the organic label to fish farming could have? What would it do in terms of inspiring better environmental stewardship?
Rangan: Well there are a lot of great things that could happen. With shrimp production, for example, about 70 percent of the shrimp that we get in this country is imported. There are lots of problems with shrimp coming in from China. The great thing about shrimp production happening in an organic way is, of course, the oversight that you have in terms of what can be used. That is, no drugs, no antibiotics, and an assurance system that guarantees that those products meet a set of standards.
Source: Living On Earth. Organic Fish Farming (http://www.loe.org/shows/segments.htm?programID=07-P13-00048&segmentID=2). Urvashi Rangan. November 30, 2007.
Many enterprises are suffering financial losses due to the mysterious disappearance of export goods in the transportation process.
Lam Ngoc Khuan, director of Phuong Nam Co., Ltd., a seafood exporter, said in August 2007 his company exported a container of shrimp to Canada, but two months later, he received a complaint from his customer in Canada that the amount in the container was less than the contract specified. He sent 7,210 boxes, but the customer only received 6,047 boxes. Khuan said the container was transported from Soc Trang to Ho Chi Minh City. After cross-checking the documents, the goods recorded in Soc Trang were adequate while the amount arriving in HCMC was lower.
It was probable that exports were hijacked during the transport process as goods are monitored stringently at ports. Drivers of container trucks might appropriate goods from the sealed containers by dropping them off at specialized facilities where thieves pry open the casings and then disguise their work by repainted and repairing the damaged surfaces.
The Association of Export Enterprises tells its members to insure their goods, but in Kuan’s case, the insurance company denied his claim, and he had to pay the Canadian importer $28,000 for the missing boxes.
Source: ThanhnienNews.com. Export Theft on the Rise in Vietnam (http://www.thanhniennews.com/society/?catid=3&newsid=33835). Quang Thuan. December 4, 2007.
Reconsidering Ban on Penaeus vannamei Farming
Importers of Vietnam’s black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) are shifting to white shrimp (P. vannamei) from other countries because it is cheaper.
Tran Thi Mieng, Deputy Director of the Planning and Investment Department under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that at several international trade fairs, importers canceled orders for Vietnam’s black tiger shrimp in favor of white shrimp from Thailand and China.
The traditional markets for Vietnam’s shrimp like Japan and the USA are consuming more white shrimp, and white shrimp have become the first choice at many restaurants.
Experts said that Vietnamese exporters need to diversify their shrimp export products, otherwise, they will lose market share. The Vietnam Association of Seafood Exporters and Producers (VASEP) has proposed that a program be set up for developing white shrimp hatcheries in Vietnam. However, Vietnam’s state management authorities still remain cautious about white shrimp culture. An official from the Aquaculture Department said that opinions still vary about allowing white shrimp hatcheries in Vietnam. The official said that if prevention measures are not followed, the white shrimp hatcheries might transmit diseases, like the Taura virus, to black tiger shrimp.
Dr. Dung from VASEP said that Vietnam could develop safe white shrimp hatcheries by importing clean broodstock.
Source: TheFishSite. White shrimp, the Redoubtable Rival of Vietnam’s Black Tiger Shrimp (http://www.thefishsite.com/fishnews/5795/white-shrimp-the-redoubtable-rival-of-vietnams-black-tiger-shrimp). November 29, 2007.
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