There will be no Free News next week, Friday, September 21, 2009.
CP Prima, the Largest Shrimp Farm in the World, Sues Bondholders for Four Billion Dollars
PT Central Proteinaprima (CP Prima), the largest shrimp farm in the world, has sued some of its bondholders for four billion dollars. The dispute started when the bondholders attempted to restructure the terms of their debt after the value of CP Prima’s stock and bonds dropped, victims of the global economic turndown. CP Prima’s stock went from eight cents a share in July 2007 to two cents a share in September 2008, knocking down the value of the bonds in the process. In April 2009, when attempts to restructure the debt failed, bondholders ordered Bank of New York Mellon, the trustee for the bonds, and PT Bank Danamon (Indonesia), the security agent for the bonds, to transfer some CP shares, held as collateral, to the bondholders. According to a press statement issued by the bondholders’ representative, some CP Prima shares have already been transferred to the bondholders.
On one side, you have CP Prima, the Chearavanont family and four businesses owned or controlled by the family. On the other side, you have the banks and investors. The line up looks something like this:
In 2007, Red Dragon, a company controlled by Thailand’s powerful Chearavanont family, sold bonds with a face value of $200 million to international investors. At the time, Red Dragon owned 11.9 percent of CP Prima and pledged that stake against the bond.
The Chearavanont family is also the controlling shareholder of the Charoen Pokphand Group, a Thailand-based conglomerate engaged in agriculture, feeds, poultry and shrimp farming. It has a 72.8 percent interest in CP Prima, but, importantly, the CP Group and CP Prima are separate entities.
Three other entities connected to the Chearavanont family—PT Surya Hidup Satwa, Regent Central International and Charm Easy—also pledged their CP Prima shares as backing for the bond offering.
The money raised by the bonds was intended to finance the consolidation of CP Prima’s shrimp-farming operations, which include a shrimp breeding center in the United States.
Now the four CP Prima shareholders have filed lawsuits in Jakarta’s Central District Court against Bank of New York Mellon and Bank Danamon (Indonesia), claiming the banks “committed torts through the execution of shares in a manner that is against the law”. The shareholders argue that the banks violated the law when they transferred CP shares held by Red Dragon to the bondholders. Each group of CP shareholders claimed $1 billion in damages, bringing the total claim to $4 billion.
For the latest press report on this story, click here.
Sources: 1. Reuters. BNY Mellon, Danamon face $4 bln Indonesian suit. Tyagita Silka and Harry Suhartono (Additional reporting by Michael Flaherty in Hong Kong; Editing by Sara Webb and Lincoln Feast). July 10, 2009. 2. Bangkok Post. Business/Marketing/CPF Expands Taiwanese Operations. Charoen Kittikanya. July 16, 2009. 3. The Asian Wall Street Journal. CP Prima Dispute Ends in Lawsuits; $4Billion Sought. Laura Santini. July 17, 2009. 4. Economist.com. Silent Disaster. July 16, 2009. 5. AsianInvestor.net. Hedge Funds Accused in Prawn Kidnap Plot. Simon Osborne. August 5, 2009. 6. Bob Rosenberry, Shrimp News International, August 13, 2009.
Mangroves Well-Equipped to Handle Shrimp Farm Effluents
A scientist who has been studying the effects of sediment runoff from shrimp and barramundi farms says the environmental impact on mangroves is minimal in northern Queensland. Speaking at the Aquaculture into the Future Conference in Townsville, Dr. David McKinnon, from the Australian Institute of Marine Science, said mangrove environments were well equipped to deal with the kinds of run-off coming from the farms. “Aquaculture effluents are very rapidly assimilated because these environments are pre-adapted to high levels of organic loading that come from the mangrove forests themselves,” he said. “What happens in other environments, in the coastal zone, and coral reefs and so on, we don’t know so much about.”
Source: ABC Rural. Aquaculture Cleared of Damaging North Queensland Mangroves. July 31, 2009.
Freshwater Lobster Farming?
In 2005, the Japanese government funded a five-year, $5 million project to teach lobster-rearing skills to farmers in a number of Cambodian provinces.
On July 30, 2009, Haing Leap, the deputy director of the Department of Fisheries at the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, said the Takeo Provincial Fisheries Department had hatched 300,000 freshwater lobsters [species not given], raised them for 45 days and then sold them to small-scale farmers for $0.06 each. “We want to encourage farmers to raise baby lobsters because we expect they will be able to supply them to local markets,” Haing Leap said.
Prum Vath, a lobster farmer in Takeo Province’s Angkor Borei District, plans to produce 200,000 lobsters for the local market by the end of 2009. He said it takes a minimum of six months to raise them. He thinks he can sell them for $15-$20 a kilogram.
Source: The Phnom Penh Post. Cambodia Plans to Boost Lobster Farming. July 31, 2009.
USA/FDA Check Certification Programs
A USA/FDA team has audited the GlobalGap and BRC (British Retail Consortium) certification programs currently being offered by Ecuador’s Inspectorate of Food Safety. The team conducted field audits at two shrimp processing plants and two shrimp farms.
The FDA team also audited the Inspectorate’s Food Testing Laboratory in Guayaquil, focusing on the lab’s accreditations, quality systems, instrumentation, test methodologies and staff. The FDA auditors’ visit to the laboratory was positive and confirmed that Inspectorate Ecuador has the necessary technical and professional capability to continue performing analyses in accordance with USA regulations.
The Food Testing Laboratory has ISO17025 accreditation through the American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA) and is being used as an official laboratory by the governments of Ecuador, Costa Rica and Panama for their aquaculture product exports to the European Union.
Information: Sergio Sanchez, Inspectorate Food Safety Services in Ecuador (email@example.com).
In 2000, lobster farming, an outgrowth of successful seaweed and grouper farming, got started on the islands of Lombok and Sumbawa. Swimming pueruli, the final larval stage of lobsters, and juvenile lobsters were often observed settling on the floats, cages and other materials associated with seaweed and grouper culture. The pueruli were captured by hand, stocked in cages and grown to maturity. Now the industry has about 1,000 small-scale farms.
Species: Panulirus ornatus ornatus and P. homarus (which is 10 times more abundant than the former) and very small numbers of P. versicolor and P. longipes.
Source: The Global Aquaculture Advocate. Editor, Darryl Jory (firstname.lastname@example.org). Emerging Species/Lobster Aquaculture in Eastern Indonesia/Part-I/Methods Evolve for Fledgling Industry. Bayu Priyambodo, email@example.com, Marine Aquaculture Development Center of Lombok, P.O. Box 128, Praya Lombok Tengah, Indonesia. Volume-12, Issue-4, Page-36, July/August 2009.
Northern Mariana Islands
Markets Farmed Shrimp in the USA
Saipan SyAqua, a shrimp farm on the main island of Saipan, has sent a trial shipment of fresh, chilled, farmed shrimp to a distributor in Seattle, Washington, USA. On August 4, 2009, Paul Zak, a marketing and sales consultant for Sy Aqua, said, “We are optimistic that we are going to sell thousands of pounds a month with this.” He said the distributor in Seattle supplies some 1,200 high-end restaurants and businesses. Zak said he could not divulge the name of the Seattle firm, but did say that some of the shrimp went to New York, Tennessee and Texas.
“We are a boutique shrimp farm. We grow shrimp for a select clientele and not for the mass market. We cater to customers who know the difference in taste between frozen and chilled shrimp. We don’t compete with countries in Asia that export millions of pounds of shrimp,” said Zak. “These are organic shrimp because there are no pesticides and antibiotics used. We go after the kind of customers that expect quality and who can tell the difference between frozen and chilled shrimp.”
Fresh chilled shrimp sells for a higher price than frozen shrimp. On Saipan, medium-size, fresh, chilled shrimp from Saipan SyAqua sells for $8 a pound, while frozen shrimp of the same quantity and size sells for about $5 a pound.
The Saipan SyAqua farm produces around 6,000 pounds of shrimp a month.
Source: SaipanTribune.com. Local Shrimp Farm Now Exports to the US Mainland. Haidee V. Eugenio. August 5, 2009.
Artemia—How to Keep Them Small, Rich and Alive
Abstract: Artemia nauplii may lack certain essential fatty acids required by the target species. While enrichment can improve Artemia’s nutritional profile, enrichment procedures can cause undesired side effects such as mortality and rapid growth, which is problematic for larvae with small mouths. In this study, researchers tested the effect of salinity (3–33 parts per thousand), temperature (16–28 °C) and enrichment time (0–24 hours) on survival, total length and fatty acid profile of Artemia franciscana nauplii.
Results were used to construct an enrichment model, which showed that temperature was the most important variable, influencing mortality, growth and fatty acid incorporation. High temperatures caused mortality, faster growth and fatty acid incorporation. High salinity affected growth and arachidonic acid (ARA) incorporation. Low salinity reduced growth and maintained higher ARA levels. The model allowed the researchers to test different combinations of temperature and salinity, predict their outcomes, and consequently, choose the optimal combination of abiotic factors and enrichment times to produce a naup with the a specific total length and fatty acid profile, while minimizing mortality.
Source: Aquaculture. Artemia franciscana enrichment model—How to keep them small, rich and alive? Joana Figueiredo (firstname.lastname@example.org, Laboratório Marítimo da Guia/Centro de Oceanografia, Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa, Avenida Nossa Senhora do Cabo 939, 2750–374 Cascais, Portugal), Robert van Woesik, Junda Lin and Luís Narciso. Volume 294, Issues 3-4, Pages 212–220, September 16, 2009.
Wanted—Pictures of Penaeus monodon
Laurence Evans (email@example.com) asks:
Does anyone have some nice, large images of Penaeus monodon that they would be willing to submit for inclusion on a Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations species profile website? Copyright and acknowledgment will be attributed to the author supplying the images. Please do not send images you do not own. For acknowledgment, enter anonymous or provide your name, email address and website address. The FAO will reserve the right to use or not use the images. Please keep each image below two megabytes.
Source: The Shrimp List (a mailing list for shrimp farmers). Subject: Penaeus Monodon Images. August 2, 2009.
GLOBALGAP Certification, Shrimp Farmers Half Way There
Among various certification schemes for shrimp products, the recent emergence of GLOBALGAP (previously known as EuropGAP) standards initiated by EU retailers has drawn attention and concern in Thailand as yet another standard to comply with. Although Thailand contributes 30% to the global shrimp production, the market share of Thai shrimp in the EU is only 3%. Therefore, GLOBALGAP could be viewed as a marketing strategy to increase market access in EU countries.
In order to research the current compliance levels vis-à-vis the newly launched GLOBALGAP standard, the Fisheries and Environmental Science Department of Kasetsart University with technical and financial support from the National Metrology Institute of Germany (PTB) in cooperation with German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) conducted a study to determine how difficult it would be for Thai shrimp farms to comply with GLOBALGAP standards. Eighteen inland and coastal farms were sampled in central, east and south Thailand. The sample represented typical shrimp farming practices in the country. The farms were audited clause-by-clause against the GLOBALGAP standards.
The audit indicated that the farms complied with nearly half of the GLOBALGAP standards.
Small-scale farmers in particular are concerned about the costs related to implementation and certification processes. Furthermore, there is no incentive for them to adopt the standards as no premium price is guaranteed. Most importantly, they are apprehensive whether markets will demand GLOBALGAP-certified shrimp. Moreover, as some have their own codes of practice, it is doubtful whether buyers will take GLOBALGAP into account for pre-selecting their suppliers.
Source: Aquaculture Asia Magazine. GLOBALGAP Standard in Thai Shrimp Farms: Mission (Im)possible? Leepaisomboon, T., Chuchird, N., Limsuwan, C., Steenbruggen, E.R., and Mungkung, R. (firstname.lastname@example.org, Department of Environmental Science, Faculty of Science, Kasetsart University, P.O. Box 1072, Kasetsart Post Office, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10903 Thailand). Volume 14, Number-2, April-June 2009.
Florida—Advanced Industrial Aeration
Advanced Industrial Aeration markets “Taeration”, a non-venturi air injection technology that transfers oxygen at a high rate and uses up to 70% less energy than traditional aeration techniques!
AIA’s webpage says: “This is an entirely new method of aeration. Our process is simple, we draw from one end and inject the water in the other end through our patented Taeration Nozzle. This exclusive push-pull system allows for complete circulation and destratification regardless of shape or depth. Drawing in only ambient air we are capable of air/water ratios as high as 10 to 1 and are achieving this using a fraction of the horsepower used by all other methods.”
“We are currently looking for a fish farm to engage in a pilot program to test the effects of our Taeration systems’ ability to increase dissolved oxygen levels. Contact us if you’re interested.”
There are lots of pictures of the equipment at AIA’s website (link below).
AIA’s Bob Advent will be giving a presentation on the Taeration Technology at the World Aquaculture Society Meeting, in Veracruz, Mexico (September 26-29, 2009).
Source: Advanced Industrial Aeration Webpage. Website Visit on July 30, 2009.
Washington DC—Food Safety Bill
The Associated Press reports:
On July 30, 2009, the House of Representatives passed a far-reaching food safety bill by a vote of 283 to 142.
The legislation would require more government inspections and oversight of food manufacturers and give the Food and Drug Administration new authority to order recalls. It also would require the FDA to develop a system for better tracing food-borne illnesses, and would allow the government to impose new penalties on those who violate the law. Food companies would be required to create detailed food safety plans.
President Barack Obama praised the bill soon after it was passed, calling it “a major step forward in modernizing our food safety system.”
Representative John Dingell (Democrat, Michigan), the bill’s sponsor who has been pushing for tougher standards for more than a decade, said, “Americans are dying because the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t have the authority to protect them.”
The FDA regulates most foods, though as many as 15 federal agencies have a hand in food safety. The Agriculture Department inspects meats, poultry and some eggs.
The bill, which has support from the food industry as well as a wide range of consumer groups, would give the agency the authority to order recalls if a company fails to act on its own and would increase the inspections of high-risk food processing facilities. It would charge food processors an annual $500 fee to help defray the cost of increased enforcement.
A similar bill sponsored by Senator Richard Durbin (Democrat, Illinois) has not yet seen action in the Senate.
Source: Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service). U.S. House Passes Far-reaching Food Safety Bill 283-142. Ken Coons (phone 1-781-861-1441, email email@example.com). Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email firstname.lastname@example.org). July 31, 2009.
Clean Shrimp Campaign
On July 29, 2009, exporters in Ca Mau Province launched a campaign to promote chemical-free shrimp farming. Supported by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, 44 processing companies and exporters will say “no” to shrimp that contains chemicals—and will report cases of chemical abuse to the government. Processors will hang banners saying “No to Shrimp Treated with Chemical Substances” in their plants during the first week of August.
Source: ThanhnienNews.com. Local Exporters Launch Clean Shrimp Campaign. Minh Quang. July 30, 2009.
Friend of the Sea Certifies Shrimp Farm
On July 27, 2009, Hue Fisheries Development Joint Stock Co., which farms shrimp under the Fideco brand, said it’s launching its Friend of the Sea-certified Pacific white shrimp on the Japanese and European markets.
The farm was audited by an international certification body and was found to be compliant with Friend of the Sea’s sustainability requirements.
Video—Shrimp Harvest in Vietnam
For a slow-moving, seven-minute video of a tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) harvest in Vietnam, click on the link below.
Source: YouTube. Shrimp Farming in Vietnam. July 29, 2009.
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 email@example.com , webpage www.aireo2.com.