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Nucleotides in Shrimp Feeds
A Discussion from the Shrimp List
Nucleotides are molecules that, when joined together, make up the structural units of RNA and DNA. They play a central role in metabolism, where they serve as a source of chemical energy, participate in cellular signaling, and are incorporated into important cofactors of enzymatic reactions.
Juan Aguirre (firstname.lastname@example.org): Does anybody have first hand experience on how nucleotides affect shrimp growth and survival?
Neil Gervais (email@example.com): Fernando Grando in Machala, Ecuador, has done some very important work on nucleotides. Contact him for information on their commercial benefits.
Billy Setio (firstname.lastname@example.org): I tried nucleotides three years ago. They were packaged in a product called “Vannagen” from Switzerland. I asked a feed company to mix them for me at one gram per metric ton. In ponds with very bad water conditions, they helped with survival, but not growth. In ponds with good water quality, survival and growth were better than in a pond without nucleotides, but the results were not significant. Survivals were only 3 to 5% better, and growth was 22 grams in 120 days, with Vannagen, compared to 20 grams in 120 days without Vannagen.
I stopped using them because of the cost, up to 10% of feed costs. Later in the year when I began using bioflocs, the water quality improved and I got good results without using nucleotides. It’s not practical to add nucleotides at the farm level; it just too much work.
Udaya Ram Jothy (email@example.com): We have been using a commercial nucleotide for the past five years as a top dressing on Penaeus monodon feed. It works as a feed attractant and promotes higher survivals rates and disease resistance.
In ponds with no disease, the top dressing was done at the rate of 5 to 10 grams per kilogram of feed (once or twice a day), and in ponds with disease, it was applied at 20 grams per kilogram of feed.
If you can manage to do the top dressing, you will see benefits.
Job Madrona (firstname.lastname@example.org): Dietary nucleotides when used as a feed premix really improve shrimp growth and survival. They help improve shrimp appetite especially during cold months. Some shrimp growers have their feed company incorporate nucleotides in their feed. When used as top dressing on feed, nucleotides require proper preparation to avoid leaching and waste.
I tested nucleotides in two growout modules. Each module consisted of ten ponds with the same stocking density, the same postlarvae, and the same stocking date. We used two feed brands, one with nucleotides and one without nucleotides. The results were amazing! Nucleotides work.
Hervé Lucien-Brun (email@example.com): I uploaded a presentation on nucleotides to the Shrimp List Website about a product called “NUCLEO 20”. The presentation includes result of field trials done with Penaeus vannamei and tilapia. The base of this product is a nucleotide produced by the Canadian company: Lallemand. You can download the presentation titled “Mazatlan a 2006.pdf” at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/shrimp/files/Presentation NUCLEO. You will need your Yahoo Shrimp Group ID and password to download the file. [Editor: I found Lucien-Brun’s presentation at the Shrimp List Website, but when I clicked on its link, I got a “page-not-found” message, so I recommend that you contact Lucien-Brun at the email address above for a copy of the presentation.]
Mark Rottmann (firstname.lastname@example.org): Nucleotides work, but many are produced using a fermentation process that limits the production of natural RNA/DNA “strings”. To reproduce all the nucleotide fractions that occur in nature during normal decomposition or digestion is impossible. The same is true with amino acids—this is why only the “limiting” amino acids are produced by fermentation (like lysine, for example). Why is fishmeal still 20 to 30 percent, or more, of the aquafeed market? Even with fishmeal at $1,600 a ton, we can’t produce a full array of complex proteins to cost effectively replace the fishmeal.
When properly managed, nucleotides and peptides can be extracted from seafood processing waste materials, and the resulting product has more than just a few of the nucleotide strings, it has all of them. And unlike fishmeal, the entire complex can be kept bioactive so that the proteins and nucleotides are not denatured. Fishmeal has less than 0.1% nucleotides and only a few peptides—all of which are denatured during processing.
To maximize peptide and nucleotide additions to aquafeeds, the most economical method to date is the addition of concentrated and purified hydrolysate streams (ground up fish carcasses, after the usable portions have been removed for human consumption). The companies in Ecuador using our PefectDigest peptide/nucleotide mix vary the inclusion of nucleotides from 1% to 3%. The best results are always achieved when they are applied as a top-dressing! When added at the feed mill, they pass through an extruder and some denaturing occurs. Spraying pellets with nucleotides is fine, but it can result in molds and fungi. A 1% peptide addition plus a nucleotide solution results in a 2-4% improvement in feed conversion ratios. The economic benefit seems to plateau at 2-3% inclusion.
I find it interesting that “small farms” are much more likely to use top-dressing, while larger farms seem to avoid this as “too much work”. Actually, the return on investment for top dressing is better for big farms, but they shy away from using it because of the amount of work.
Information: Mark Rothman, Bluewave Marine Ingredients, Av. La Encalada 1388, Office #1101, Lima 33, Peru (Skype phone Mark.Rottmann Peru, cell phone +51-98-750-3929, email email@example.com, webpage http://www.bluewaveperu.com).
Sources: 1. The Shrimp List (a mailing list for shrimp farmers). Subject: Nucleotides. September 26 to 29, 2010. 2. Wikipedia. Nucleotides. Website visit on October 7, 2010. 3. Aquaculture Research. Preliminary Evaluation of a Purified Nucleotide Mixture as a Dietary Supplement for Pacific White Shrimp Litopenaeus Vannamei (Boone). Peng Li, Addison Lawrence, Frank Castille and Delbert Gatlin III (firstname.lastname@example.org, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Faculty of Nutrition, Texas A&M University System, College Station, Texas 77843, USA). Volume 38, Issue 8, Page 887. Published online on May 30, 2007.
Reference Prices for October 2010
Job—Shrimp Hatchery Manager
Location: Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, India.
Company: BOB Sea Farms India Company.
Closing Date: Friday, October 22, 2010.
Qualifications: Bachelor or Master of Science degree, or without a degree, exceptional experience in running a shrimp hatchery for Penaeus monodon or P. vannamei. Basic English and familiarity with local languages essential.
Information: Ram Manohar (email@example.com).
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 jobs. Shrimp Hatchery Manager–Location India East Coast. October 2, 2010.
Shrimp Farmers Battle Corporate Owners
[Editor: I think, but have not confirmed, that all the farms mentioned in this report are part of CP Prima, a huge, but troubled, shrimp farm in southeastern Sumatra.]
Fishermen’s rights advocates have called on the government to intervene in a spat between shrimp farmers in Lampung Province and the company [CP Prima] that buys their product—and owns their farms—or risk the possibility of the conflict escalating and getting out of control.
In August 2010, a farmer from the Tiger Shrimp Plasma Growers (P3UW) in Tulangbawang District of Lampung Province was arrested after Aruna Wijaya Sakti (AWS), the company managing the Dipasena Citra Darmaja shrimp farm, pressed charges against him for selling to other distributors.
That prompted hundreds of other P3UW farmers to ransack the AWS office on September 2, 2010. Ten farmers, including P3UW head Nafian Faiz, were subsequently arrested for assaulting security guards and damaging property.
On September 28, 2010, some 1,200 shrimp farmers took their grievances with the company to the authorities by occupying the Lampung Legislature Building.
The Fisheries Justice Coalition (Kiara), a national advocacy group for traditional fishermen, has taken up the shrimp farmer’s cause. On Friday, Riza Damanik, secretary general of Kiara, said the farmers’ protests stemmed from a string of disappointments about the stalled “smallholder switch”.
Dipasena began operating its shrimp farm in Lampung in 1989 and initially employed 8,872 local farmers with a promise to allow them to purchase small parcels of the farm and manage them as independent farms. Loans for the purchases were to be made available exclusively through Bank Dagang Nasional Indonesia, which, along with Dipasena, was owned by tycoon Sjamsul Nursalim. The bank folded during the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis, despite receiving a $3 billion bailout from the government. Sjamsul later fled the country after being accused of embezzling the rescue funds. The farmers say that since 2000, Dipasena has done nothing to help them become independent farmers.
Riza also called on the authorities to investigate other allegations being made by the farmers against the company. “For one thing, there’s the issue of price-fixing and unfair agreements,” he said. “If the government doesn’t take immediate action, this case will grow out of control.”
Source: Jakarta Globe. Shoved-Aside Shrimp Farmers’ Woes Add Fuel to Fiery Cocktail: Advocates. Fidelis Satriastanti. October 1, 2010.
Food and Agriculture Organization’s Certification Standards
After four years of consultation and debate among governments, producers, traders and processors, the sub-committee of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has adopted global guidelines for aquaculture certification that cover animal health, food safety, and the environment and socio-economic issues relating to aquaculture workers.
Over 50 countries attended the meeting of the sub-committee. The guidelines need to be approved by the FAO Committee on Fisheries when it meets in Rome in January 2011.
If the guidelines are followed by the countries of the world, certification will let consumers know if the shrimp they are buying were raised without damaging a coastal mangrove swamp, if the fish farm worker was paid a fair wage, and if the products are free of contamination.
“These guidelines have been developed to bring some harmony to what is the fastest growing food sector in the world,” said FAO aquaculture expert Rohana Subasinghe.
Source: The Hindu. First Global Guidelines for Aquaculture Certification Finalized. October 3, 2010.
Maruha Nichiro Seafood, the Largest Shrimp Trading Firm in Japan
Masayuki Nakajima, director of Maruha Nichiro Seafood, Inc., which owns Agrobest, a big shrimp farm in Malaysia, says high shrimp prices are being absorbed in Japan by the strong yen, but there may be shortage of large-size shrimp at the end of the year, undoubtedly the most important sales season of the year.
Nakajima said negotiations with major mass sellers have not been going smoothly, primarily because raw material prices in Southeast Asian countries are high. It seems inevitable that prices of large size shrimp will rise in Japan because of already short inventories and rising prices on the supply side.
I don’t think we will be able to offer low-priced specials like we did last year when prices weakened, said Nakajima. This year, there were relatively small harvests of Penaeus vannamei in China because of cold weather in the first half of the year. On the whole, production in Southeast Asia was at a low level, with production in Indonesia tending to decrease due to adverse weather and disease problems.
Furthermore, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010 reduced shrimp supplies, and shrimp production in Latin America decreased by several percentage points, compared to 2009.
Usually, buying for the Christmas season in the USA levels off in November, and prices decline a little. But based on the market developments so far this year, a dip in prices seems unlikely. The tendency among Japanese buyers is to keep inventories low, so they have room for lower priced shrimp at the end of the year. Packers buy the lower priced shrimp, freeze it, and then sell it from January through March when prices usually recover.
One commodity deserving special attention is wild-caught Argentine shrimp (Pleoticus muelleri), a good substitute for the large Gulf of Mexico shrimp that have disappeared from the market.
Source: Seafood.com (an online, subscription-based, fisheries news service). Editor and Publisher, John Sackton (phone 1-781-861-1441, email firstname.lastname@example.org). Maruha Nichiro Executive Also Sees High Shrimp Prices for Large Size, No Price Reduction after Nov. October 1, 2010.
Shrimp Improvement Systems
Shrimp Improvement Systems, a Foridia-USA based supplier of SPF Penaeus vannamei broodstock, is owned by CP Prima, a troubled Indonesian company with interests in shrimp feeds, hatcheries and farms. In 2005, SIS opened a broodstock multiplication facility in Singapore. It can produce and ship about 60,000 broodstock a year and hopes to double its production in 2011, in anticipation of increased demand from China, Vietnam and India. All shrimp stocks at this facility originate as juveniles at SIS’s broodstock facilities in Florida, USA.
SIS Singapore occupies a 1.8-hectare site developed by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore, the national authority for food safety (including aquatic animal health) as well as the agency designated by the World Organization of Animal Health (OIE) to monitor and regulate the health status of animal stocks in Singapore. Since the start of operations in 2005, AVA has supported SIS’s health monitoring program through periodic PCR and histopathology checks.
Source: AQUA Culture AsiaPacific (Editor/Publisher, Zuridah Merican, email email@example.com). Developments/Leading in Genetic Improvement of the Vannamei Shrimp/Three Locations Worldwide and Penaeus Monodon. Volume 8, Number 5, Page 32, September/October 2010.
Dan Fegan on Whitespot Tests
Dan Fegan, founder and owner of the Shrimp List,has a long history of managing shrimp farms in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Currently, a regional technical manager for Cargill Animal Nutrition in Bangkok, Fegan wrote this report on whitespot tests:
Despite all of the other risk factors, infected PLs remain the highest and most common cause of whitespot in shrimp ponds. The problem with depending on PCR (polymerase chain reaction) testing of PLs is that the greatest risk of obtaining a false negative result lies, not with the PCR test, but with the number of shrimp tested.
If the prevalence of the virus in the source population is low, then the sample size needed to find a single positive individual is high. Conversely, if the prevalence is high, then the number of shrimp needed to test before finding a positive individual is less.
It is often recommended that a sample of 150 PLs be negative for WSSV before stocking. Many people erroneously believe that this provides evidence of absence of WSSV in a particular batch of PLs. Epidemiological statistics, however, tell us that a sample of 150 shrimp testing negative for a disease in a population larger than 10,000 has less than 2% WSSV in the source population has a 5% (1/20) chance of being wrong due to the number of shrimp in the sample relative to the population. Commonly, a sample of 30 PLs is used which raises the limit of detection to 10% prevalence. Therefore, due to sample size limitations, it is highly possible that even a good PL screening program cannot provide 100% certainty of freedom, no matter how good the testing method.
In the case of positive PCR results on the farm, no mention is made of the number of animals being tested at any one time. Using the same statistical approach as above, the fewer shrimp tested before finding a positive individual, the higher the prevalence of infected shrimp in the pond. If, for example, ten shrimp are tested and a positive result is found, then as much as 30% of the population could be infected. Infection and disease are not the same, however, and although presence of infected shrimp in the pond increases the risk of disease, it does not guarantee that these disease losses will occur.
The best way to ensure no risk of introduction of WSSV or other major pathogens into the farm is to work with specific-pathogen-free (SPF) shrimp from a reputable program. But, even this is no guarantee of success if no other biosecurity program is in place. Unfortunately, supplies of SPF Penaeus monodon are limited and many farms are unable to benefit greatly from them due to poor biosecurity or environmental conditions. The success of Asian farmers in taking advantage of SPF P. vannamei using relatively simple biosecurity measures, however, shows that they can be cost-effective and easy to administer.
Sources: 1. AQUA Culture AsiaPacific (Editor/Publisher, Zuridah Merican, email firstname.lastname@example.org). Shrimp Culture/Industry Comments/Dan Fegan on Risks and Limiting the Introduction of the Virus. Volume 8, Number 5, Page 8, September/October 2010. 2. Wikipedia. Polymerase Chain Reaction. Wikipedia’s website on October 11, 2010.
BirdsEye Shrimp Fly from the Freezer to the Oven, Non-Stop
Consumer fears over preparing and cooking seafood is preventing UK seafood consumption from growing, so last year BirdsEye brought to market its trademarked freezer-to-oven packaging. Developed by UK firm FFP Packaging Solutions, the innovation is made possible by a strip of metalized laminate that allows oven cooking of frozen seafood. Now, backed by a $3.2 million TV advertising campaign, it has added three shrimp products to its freezer-to-oven line: Sweet Chili Shrimp, Garlic and Herb Shrimp and Thai Green Curry Shrimp. They will retail for $6.33 each.
According to BirdsEye, the line has been a “phenomenal success”, delivering $48 million in sales since its launch last year. Matt Richards, senior brand manager at BirdsEye, said the shrimp products will go on sale in most supermarkets in the UK, including Tesco, Waitrose and Sainsbury’s.
Sources: 1. SeafoodSource.com. Editor, Steven Hedlund (email@example.com). Birds Eye Adds Shrimp to Frozen-to-Oven Line. Lindsey Partos. October 1, 2010. 2. Carrentals.co.uk. Birds Eye Offer Thai Green Curry Prawns. October 4, 2010.
Michigan—Shrimp Genetics Job at Central Michigan University
The Department of Biology at Central Michigan University (CMU) seeks a highly motivated and enthusiastic individual to work in the lab of Phil Hertzler in a collaborative project with Melony Sellars from CSIRO Food Futures Flagship (FFF) in Australia. The project goal is to identify morphological and molecular markers of the germ line in penaeid shrimp embryos and larvae, and then to target those markers in loss-of-function studies.
The position is funded by CSIRO/FFF and is available immediately through August 31, 2013. Starting salary is up to $54,738, depending on experience, with full medical insurance and retirement benefits. The successful candidate will be based at CMU and will be expected to travel and live part of the year in Australia, as needed. The candidate must submit an online application at http://www.jobs.cmich.edu [Editor: I could not get the link to work, but it appears to be accurate?] that includes a cover letter, CV, and the names and contact information of three references.
For further information on the position and scientific content of the project, contact Dr. Philip Hertzler at Philip.L.firstname.lastname@example.org. Cover letters should be addressed to Dr. Philip Hertzler. Review of applications will continue until the position is filled. For more information on the Department of Biology at Central Michigan University go to http://www.bio.cmich.edu.
Source: Email to Shrimp News International from Melony Sellars (email@example.com) on September 30, 2010.
Mississippi—Lauren Freshwater Prawn Farms
Lauren Farms, a 14-acre a freshwater prawn farm (Macrobrachium rosenbergii), has been named a 2010 Seafood Champion by the Seafood Watch Program at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. It was one of only eight companies and individuals nationwide so honored at “Cooking for Solutions,” a culinary gala celebrating and promoting sustainability.
“It was a total surprise,” said Dolores Fratesi, who owns the farm with her husband, Steve. Founded in 1995, the farm, which includes some catfish ponds, became fully operational in 2000. It markets its own prawns and buys prawns from other farms and markets them as well. “I’m pretty confident to say we are the largest freshwater prawn farm in the United States,” Fratesi said.
Fratesi said she sold all of last year’s crop and has a list of Jackson area restaurants waiting for this year’s crop, which will be harvested in late October.
FishWise, another organization promoting sustainable seafood that features Fratesi’s prawns on its website, also won recognition from the Seafood Watch Program.
Source: Clarionledger.com. Fresh Off a Win: Lauren Farms Gets National Plug. Sherry Lucas (1-601-961-7283). September 29, 2010.
New York—Finally, a Shrimp Hot Dog
Shrimp burgers are now a dime a dozen, but how about a hot dog made with “sustainable West Coast shrimp” for $14.50. You can buy one at Brats—Dogs & Wieners in New York City.
Information: Brats—Dogs & Wieners, 362 West 23rd Street, Chelsea, New York, New York, USA (phone 1-646-350-2557).
Source: The Village Voice Blog. The Great Hot Dog Hoax: Daniel Angerer’s “Brats—Dogs &Wieners”. Robert Sietsema. September 28, 2010.
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