There will be no Free News report, next Friday, April 4, 2008.
Free News will return on Friday, April 11, 2008.
The Japanese Shrimp Market in 2007
In 2007, Japanese shrimp imports declined 8.25% compared to 2006. Total imports were 276,222 metric tons valued at $2.25 billion, compared to 301,078 tons and $2.49 billion in 2006. The sharp fall in raw frozen shrimp imports, down 22,695 tons, accounted for most of the drop. There was also negative growth in imports of value-added shrimp, which had shown steady increases from 1998 to 2006.
For the last few years, China has been expanding its exports of processed and prepared shrimp to Japan. The recent quality scare over unauthorized chemical contamination in Chinese’s foods, however, will probably change that trend, at least for a while.
The Japan–Thailand Free Trade Agreement is expected to boost imports of value-added shrimp from Thailand in 2008. Other countries with stringent quality assurance programs will also be able to sell more value-added products to Japan.
Imports of raw frozen shrimp into Japan were at a record low in 2007. Imports from most countries declined, except for Thailand, up 31%, and China, little change. Lower imports from Vietnam and Indonesia were linked to reports of antibiotics in their shrimp. Imports also fell from India, the Philippines, Myanmar and Bangladesh—the major suppliers of giant tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon).
Coldwater shrimp imports, nearly 12% of total supplies, fell by 17.6% compared to 2006. Suppliers of coldwater shrimp found more favorable markets in Europe than in Japan.
In China, the anticipated high consumption of shrimp and other high-value seafood products during the Lunar New Year celebration in February 2008 failed to take place because of a severe winter and especially bad weather during the new year celebration. Consequently, more Chinese shrimp is likely to go into cold storage this year.
Current inventories of tiger shrimp are in balance with demand, but harvests in Asia during 2008 will be lower than 2007, so a shortage may develop.
Western Australia—Lobster Farming
Western Kingfish has received the first commercial lobster farming license in Western Australia for the culture of Moreton Bay bugs (Thenus orientalis, a slipper lobster), tropical rock lobster (Panulirus ornatus) and western rock lobster (Panulirus cygnus). Western Kingfish director Alan Savage says the company plans to establish a pilot project for the larval rearing and growout of Moreton Bay bugs and tropical rock lobsters. The work will take place at the company’s Jurien Bay facility on the Indian Ocean, 200 kilometers north of Perth.
Western Kingfish is also waiting for a ministerial exemption that would allow it to collect a small number of juvenile western rock lobsters, which take much longer to grow to marketable size than the tropical rock lobster. The western rock lobster fishery has experienced below average catches in recent years, and based on juvenile counts, may face even smaller harvests in two or three years.
Source: FisheNews (an email supplement to Austasia Aquaculture magazine). Editor, Tim Walker (email@example.com). Other Crustaceans/First Commercial Lobster Aquaculture License. March 6, 2008.
Importers Want to End Zero Tolerance on Antibiotics
A dispute has broken out between importers and shrimp farmers over Australia’s zero tolerance policy on antibiotic levels in imported shrimp. The Food and Beverage Importers Association wants to change the policy, but Australian shrimp farmers say shrimp with any trace of antibiotics should be stopped at the border.
Nick Georgouras sells Australian wild and farmed shrimp—and farmed shrimp imports from Thailand—at the Sydney Fish Market. He says: “The imported shrimp fill a niche. They’re bigger if you want them bigger; they’re convenient because they’re frozen; we can buy them by the ton; and we have a continuity of supply.” But, Georgouras also says consumers are conscious about what they eat and would prefer shrimp that are free of antibiotics, preservatives or additives. “...This is Australia—we’re clean as clean.”
Food Standards Australia/New Zealand (FSANZ, responsible for developing food standards in the two countries) is considering a request from shrimp importers to change the zero tolerance policy on antibiotics. The importers are requesting a maximum residue limit of 0.2 milligrams per kilo of shrimp for the antibiotic oxytetracycline. Harry Peters, chairman of the Seafood Importers Association of Australasia, says small residues of this antibiotic are already permitted in imported and local fish. He says, “Food Standards Australia has examined the situation carefully and has permitted it in domestic seafood, so under World Trade Organization regulations, it’s only right that the same applies to imported seafood. There’s no human safety issue here; this is an animal health issue only—not human health.” It will bring Australia into line with international standards.
Importers say the domestic shrimp industry is using biosecurity as a form of trade protectionism. “These regulations have been brought in for no other reason other than to protect 23 shrimp farms and about 15 wild catch fishing companies,” said Peters.
Jeff Harrison, president of the Australian Prawn Farmers Association, says the current zero limit should remain on imported shrimp. “We pride ourselves on being a clean and green industry, and there is a big push, particularly in Australia, to eliminate antibiotic use in food, and we support that view,” he said. “Everyone would prefer to play it safe and keep it at zero.”
Dr. Nigel Preston (firstname.lastname@example.org), a senior research scientist with Australia’s CSIRO Marine Research, says the use of antibiotics in aquaculture is unnecessary and the practice should be banned worldwide.
Food Standards Australia/New Zealand will make a decision on this issue before the end of 2008.
Source: ABC News. Seafood industry split over antibiotics in prawns. Jennifer Macey. March 12, 2008.
Shrimp Quality Key to Boosting Exports
Semaun Holdings, which owns part of Semaun Marine Resources, a shrimp processor/exporter, and Golden Corporation, with interests in shrimp farming, are helping shrimp farmers produce premium shrimp. They recommend partial harvests of large shrimp, followed by a holding period in clean water, when the shrimp empty their alimentary canals.
Richard Chuang Hsi Shan, general manager of Semaun Marine Resources, says, farmers “don’t want to do the partial harvesting.... To be successful, the farmers have to be patient and listen to our advice so that the shrimp will not have sand in their intestines. What happens quite often is that the shrimp get hungry and start to eat the sand at the bottom of the pond.” To correct that problem, Chuang recommends a partial harvest, and then holding the shrimp in net cages near the surface of the pond for a few hours, so they can purge the sand from their systems.
Not all farmers like this method and prefer to open the gates and harvest all the shrimp at once. “This is not good, maybe for the local wet market where customers don’t mind, but in the export market...it is a different story, the customers will complain,” Chuang said.
He added that Brunei’s shrimp industry needs to keep improving the quality of its exports, which are becoming quite significant with an annual volume of 400 tons a year.
Shrimp farmers in Brunei are finding it hard to turn a profit.
Source: BruneiDirect.com. Shrimp Quality Key to Boosting Exports. Debbie Too. March 13, 2008.
Roger Doyle Reports on Aquaculture Genetics Research
Why spend money to develop fast-growing fish or shrimp? Someone may steal your strain and sell it more cheaply than you can! The widespread “hijacking” of strains and sale of their progeny at discounted prices discourages many breeders from investing in genetic improvements. If you can’t reap the benefits from your R&D investment, what’s the point? Well, with some forethought you can reap the benefits.
According to this review article, “There are currently four main intellectual property protection schemes available: copyright (impossible), trade secret (temporary), trademark (useful) and patent (impossible). Each of these protects a different aspect of intellectual property, which leaves gaps of protection when an innovation does not fit squarely within the boundaries of the statutes.” The authors argue that for new animal strains or breeds a contract that licenses the purchaser to use the strain for certain defined purposes is the best solution. The applicable types of contract are discussed in some detail. Some purchasers would be licensed only to use postlarvae or fry for commercial growout; some could breed the strain to produce fry for sale (secondary breeders); and some could incorporate the strain into their own broodstock.
The contract prices for these different kinds of use would be very different. “The protection for animal breeding industry innovations is most likely through contract law rather than traditional intellectual property law. ...The license must be carefully crafted to gain rights and enforceability to protect the innovation and recoup expenses while avoiding unduly harsh anticompetitive effects.”
This means that an aquaculture strain must be identifiable. Genetic markers could be used for that.
Source: Genetic Computation Limited (free online summaries of aquaculture genetics research). Editor, Roger Doyle (email@example.com). Hard-to-find papers. How to protect your investment in broodstock improvement. Item No. 646. January-February 2008.
SemBioSy—New Shrimp Feed Additive
On March 17, 2008, SemBioSys Genetics, Inc., a biotechnology company that’s developing a portfolio of therapeutic proteins for metabolic and cardiovascular diseases, reported its operational and financial results for the twelve-month period ended December 31, 2007. The outlook section of the report said that SemBioSys was initiating pond trials for a shrimp feed additive called “ImmunoSphere”™.
Source: CNW Group. SemBioSys announces 2007 financial and operational results. March 17, 2008.
Monodon Broodstock Feeds
Abstract: In this study, five diets that contained fresh squid meat as the basic constituent were supplemented with different amounts of highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFAs) and astaxanthin and fed to pond-reared Penaeus monodon broodstock.
Diet A: squid only.
Diet B: squid supplemented with 50 milligrams of astaxanthin per kilogram.
Diet C: squid supplemented with 100 milligrams of astaxanthin per kilogram.
Diet D: squid supplemented with HUFA 5 and 50 milligrams of astaxanthin per kilogram.
Diet E: squid supplemented with HUFA 10 and 50 milligrams of astaxanthin per kilogram.
The result showed that the shrimp fed diet E had the best reproductive performance. They had “a higher proportion of spawns (71.5%), spawning rate (0.047), a shorter latency period (7.7±0.3 d), higher absolute fecundity (× 103) (361.6±5.5) and egg production/female (× 103) (597.0±18.0) than all the other experimental groups.”
Source: Electronical Larviculture Newsletter. Editor Gilbert Van Stappen (firstname.lastname@example.org). Effects of Dietary Highly Unsaturated Fatty Acids and Astaxanthin on the Fecundity and Lipid Content of Pond-Reared Penaeus Monodon (Fabricius) Broodstock. Jian-Hua Huang, Shi-Gui Jiang (email@example.com), Hei-Zhao Lin, Fa-Lin Zhou and Le Ye (South China Sea Fishery Research Institute of CAFS, 231 Xingang Road Western, Guangzhou 510300, China). Issue 283, February 15, 2008.
The Indian Government will most likely legalize the farming of the western white shrimp (Penaeus vannamei) in April or May 2008.
The government has been dilly-dallying with the idea of introducing P. vannamei for the last two years. The Agriculture Ministry, which originally objected to its introduction because of the possibility of importing new shrimp viruses into India, has agreed to give the go ahead to vannamei, and the Commerce Ministry strongly backs the introduction because of a long-pending request from shrimp exporters.
The export sector feels that broodstock should be imported only from facilities in Hawaii, USA, that have specific pathogen free (SPF) stocks.
The major concern over the introduction of vannamei is that indiscriminate and inadequately controlled imports could result in the spread of the Taura virus to P. monodon, the giant tiger shrimp, currently the most popular species for farming in India.
Source: Business Standard. Govt nod for vannamei farming likely in May. George Joseph. March 18, 2008.
Miguel Humberto Olea Ruiz, an aquaculture official in the state of Sonora, says that shrimp farms must obtain permits from the Fishing and Aquaculture Undersecretary before they can stock their ponds. He said that approximately 19,000 hectares (49,950 acres) of shrimp ponds would be stocked in Sonora for the first crop of 2008. Many farms started stocking their ponds on March 20, 2008. Some farms in the northern part of the state have expanded their operations and others will bring abandoned ponds back into production.
Source: Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service). Farmed shrimp seeding begins in Sonora, Mexico, next week. Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 781-861-1441, email firstname.lastname@example.org). March 14, 2008.
SeaArk is developing a billion dollar shrimp farm in South Africa. On February 22, 2008, the Mail and Guardian, a newspaper in Johannesburg, carried a long article that was very critical of the SeaArk project. On March 17, 2008, the Mail and Guardian published a second article that claims SeaArk lied about its $10 million project in Saudi Arabia. Here are some excerpts from the second article:
The Al Fulk Group, a major Saudi Arabian marine company, has accused SeaArk Africa of lying about an alleged $10-million deal with Al Fulk. “We have no contract with SeaArk,” was the response of Jeddah-based Al Fulk after being confronted with the SeaArk Africa press statement of January 21, 2008, which announced a contract to develop a pilot shrimp farm with Al Fulk in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Bosasa Operations, of which SeaArk Africa is a 100% subsidiary, has backtracked on the January 21 statement, saying that it was “based on our information that the terms of a memorandum of understanding had been agreed to by the board of Al Fulk.”
MS Hazzaa, general manager of projects at Al Fulk, denied the deal was signed and was upset that both the South African and international media had widely reported on it. In a telephone interview with the M&G he said: “We know these people in the story. We know the players. They are not unfamiliar to us, but they have nothing to do with us.”
Hazzaa declined to elaborate on the nature of Al Fulk’s interaction with SeaArk Africa. He said, “We have been receiving calls from our associates worldwide, saying ‘Be careful of your partners.’ But the people in the article on SeaArk Africa have no links to us. We have no contract with SeaArk.”
After publication of the first article in the M&G, SeaArk Africa’s lawyers sent a letter accusing the newspaper of defamation and claimed that the company had suffered “financial harm and prejudice…emanating from their bankers and trade creditors.”
Responding to the M&G’s questions about Hazzaa’s claims, Bosasa spokesperson Papa Leshabane said: “Suffice to state that our announcement made in January 2008 was based on our information that the terms of a memorandum of understanding had been agreed to by the board of Al Fulk. Notwithstanding, negotiations remain ongoing.”
Meanwhile, the Coega Development Corporation (CDC), which is developing the site where the shrimp farm would be built, has confirmed that SeaArk is still subject to a due diligence process after completion of its environmental impact statement. “Depending on the outcome of the impact statement, we will conduct a due diligence, and we cannot ignore the information raised in the [M&G] article if it becomes relevant at the time,” CDC spokesperson Ongama Mtimka said.
Source: Mail and Guardian. SeaArk “lied” about Saudi deal. Yolandi Groenewald and Adriaan Basson. March 17, 2008.
Pescanova Acquires Promarisco
Spanish seafood giant Pescanova has acquired Promarisco, an integrated shrimp farm in Ecuador, and is reportedly in talks with several other major shrimp players in Latin America!
With more than 120 vessels, Pescanova has the largest fishing fleet in Europe, and it is the third largest fishing company in the world. Established in 1997, its main offices are in Miami, Florida, USA. Information: Pescanova, Inc., 848 Brickell Avenue, Suite 210, Miami, FL 33131 USA (phone 305-577-4492, fax 305-577-4430, email email@example.com, webpage http://www.pescanovausa.com/english.htm).
Promarisco is a shrimp farm in Ecuador with a hatchery and processing plant. Its extensive, closed-cycle production system produces large, healthy shrimp with minimum impact on the environment. Information: Promarisco, Km. 6 1/2 vía Durán Tambo, P.O. Box 3419, Guayaquil, Ecuador (phone 593-4-2812307, fax 593-4-2800052, email firstname.lastname@example.org, webpage http://www.promarisco.com).
Sources: 1. Email from Intrafish.com (email@example.com, an online, subscription-based news service) to Shrimp News International. Breaking News/Intrafish News/Headline Only/Pescanova Acquires Promarisco. March 11, 2008. 2. Pescanova’s webpage on March 13, 2008. 3. Promarisco’s webpage on March 18, 2008.
Replikins LLC, which has announced the development of a chemically synthesized vaccine specific to the Taura virus, has a position open for a senior business development and marketing manager.
Location: USA and abroad.
Closing Date: July 1, 2008.
Qualifications: We would like candidates to compose a two-page executive summary of a business plan describing how they would pursue marketing our product. Enclose a detailed copy of your CV. Aquaculture field experience is favored.
Contact: John McKenney (phone 617-536-0220, email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Source: AquaNic (The Aquaculture Network Information Center, a gateway to the world’s electronic aquaculture resources. Jobs Directory (, in cooperation with the WAS Employment Service, search on “shrimp”). Senior Business Development and Marketing Position. Posted March 27, 2008.
Nevada—Ganix Bio-Technologies, LLC
On November 15, 2007, the Pahrump Regional Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit for Ganix Bio-Technologies, Inc., for a shrimp farm that will be housed in two 50,000-square-foot buildings with 72, indoor, rectangular tanks in Pahrump, Nevada.
On March 4, 2008, I chatted with Scott McManus, Chief Executive Officer of Ganix Bio-Technologies, LLC:
Shrimp News: Congratulations on getting your construction permits. When are you going to start construction?
Scott McManus: We’re going to start construction early this summer. The first facility should be completed by early 2009. We’ve been producing shrimp at a small, pilot facility in Newburg, North Dakota, for five years. This is our first big, commercial expansion. We also have an additional facility in North Dakota that is about 99% complete. It has the first full-size tank in it, a prototype of the tanks that will go into the Pahrump facility. We’ll have shrimp in that tank in the next thirty days. All our tanks will recirculate their water, and all the critical water quality variables will be monitored by computers. We are 100% organic, so all the ingredients in our feeds have to meet existing and future organic requirements. The Organic Material Review Institute has approved our proprietary technology and it is 100% compliant with their organic standards.
Information: Scott McManus, Chief Executive Officer, Ganix Bio-Technologies, LLC., 5275 South Durango Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89113, USA (phone 702-304-2649, fax 702-384-2650, email email@example.com, webpage http://www.ganix.net).
Source: Scott McManus. Telephone interview by Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International, on March 4, 2008.
Payments for Shrimp that Died During Cold Snap
The Government is considering a proposal to compensate fish and shrimp farmers who lost money during the month-long cold snap during February 2008.
The Aquaculture Department has asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to make available $2.25 million to help farmers replenish stocks.
The funds will be used to restock northern farms with fry and shrimp from the South, particularly from the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta region, where aquaculture farms had a good year, said Deputy Minister Nguyen Viet Thang.
Source: Vietnam News Agency. Gov’t mulls compensation for aquaculture industry. March 13, 2008.
AERATORS-THE ORIGINAL AIRE-O2 ASPIRATOR AERATOR: Increase your shrimp production and harvests with the original AIRE-O2® aerator. Since 1974, more intensive & semi-intensive shrimp farmers worldwide have relied on Aeration Industries more than any other aerator due to its low maintenance, excellent subsurface mixing & oxygen dispersion, and ability to increase farm production & yield. Contact us at: phone +1-952-448-6789, email firstname.lastname@example.org , webpage www.aireo2.com.
OLDEST AQUACULTURE SUPPLIER: For 3 decades , AREA has provided over 5,000 products and complete systems design for facilities worldwide. FREE Systems design is available for Aeration, Water Pumping/Filtration, Heating and Chilling systems. Other services include Consulting, Installation, Training, Systems Retrofitting and more. For the most efficient and cost effective systems that provide the most management flexibility, contact us at: email@example.com or via web at www.areainc.com.