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June 20, 2013


Daniel Gruenberg Develops Anti-EMS Shrimp Feed



In a news release dated June 19, 2013, Daniel Gruenberg, CEO of Acquestra (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (formerly Sea Garden Foods) and technical advisor to Sureerath Organic Products Co, Ltd., an organic shrimp farm and feed mill in Chantaburi, Thailand, announced a collaboration with a major prebiotic producer for the joint development of an anti-EMS feed!


Acquestra has an existing feed formula that seems to be showing anti-EMS activity in field tests that are ongoing.  The addition of a prebiotic to the existing formula, a prebiotic that shows clear anti-Vibrio and anti-oxidant activity, should add a synergistic effect to the new feed.  Gruenberg says, “This will further bolster our position in the anti-EMS feed space.  Our feed formula attacks EMS pathology on multiple, synergistic levels.”


Gruenberg continues: “The new feed formulation is complete, and initial batches will be prepared in the coming days.  We are not just a feed mill or additive company; we are active shrimp farmers that have been dealing with EMS since the outbreak hit late last year.  That puts us in a unique position to test and observe results from this new formula.  We have seen sub-clinical signs of EMS that other farms may not be able to detect.  We know how to purposely ‘push’ the shrimp to show EMS symptoms.  This gives us a powerful tool to test the new feed formula.”


“In addition, to our field trials, the feed is scheduled to be tested in professional academic laboratories to confirm whether it can help ward off EMS in a controlled environment.”


“As organically certified farmers, we are acutely aware of the need for a safe, environmental and an effective solution for EMS.  In the coming weeks, we will keep the shrimp farming community updated on the progress of our trials and results.”



Shrimp News Asks Gruenberg Some Questions


As a result of the above news release, Shrimp News emailed Gruenberg some questions about the new feed:


Shrimp News: Hi Daniel, Thanks for thinking of Shrimp News when you had news to report!  How do your pronounce the name of your new company.  Is it “ah-ques-tra” or “ak-ques-tra”?


Daniel Gruenberg: Acquestra is a merger of the Italian word for water “acqua” and orchestra.  The correct pronunciation is “ah-ques-tra”.


Shrimp News: What do those little symbols in your logo represent?


Daniel Gruenberg: Because we are moving into the design and production of recirculating systems for fish and also into technology for farming shrimp in ponds, we decided to rebrand Sea Garden as Acquestra. The first symbol is the classical elemental “water” symbol, derived from the zodiac symbol for Aquarius.  The second symbol is the caduceus that represents DNA and life.  The third symbol is the well-known Yin/Yang symbol which represents the eternal balance of nature.


Shrimp News: How does your new feed differ from traditional shrimp feed?


Daniel Gruenberg: Since our farm production is organic, we were forced to use organic ingredients in its formulation.  Secondly, it contains three proprietary ingredients to combat EMS.  The first ingredient is a prebiotic based on a herbal extract with well-documented anti-Vibrio activity.  In addition to anti-Vibrio activity, the prebiotic is important because it encourages good gram-positive bacteria.  Bacteria that are important for gut health are unaffected by this ingredient, which also possesses very powerful anti-oxidant activity (100 times more than vitamin C).  The other two ingredients are immunostimulants that help fight off infection and clear toxins from the shrimp’s system.


Shrimp News: What’s the protein content of the new feed?


Daniel Gruenberg: The protein content is 29%.  Since we use a twin-screw extruder that produces highly digestible proteins, we  are able to get good feed conversion ratios with relatively low levels of protein.  We use high-grade fishmeal and other non-genetically modified organisms (GMOs).  Animal protein is restricted to no more than 20% of the total protein.



Daniel Gruenberg on The Shrimp List


Gruenberg is a very frequent contributor to The Shrimp List, a free, email-based, unmoderated, mailing list for shrimp farmers that distributes information posted by one member of the list to all the other members of the list.  His recent posts to the list have focused on the EMS situation in Thailand.  Here is one of his typical posts:


In our investigation after the EMS outbreak, what we found was appalling.  Hatcheries were taking breeders from the pond with no care or worry about inbreeding depression.  Even in managed breeding programs, we found that the selection criteria used in many breeding programs put too much emphasis on growth, which resulted in reduced survival rates in ponds.


We were lucky enough to have Dr. Thomas Gitterle, who headed the breeding program for Akvaforsk in Norway, the world’s premier aquatic animal genetics consultancy, come to our farm.  Dr. Thomas now runs SyAqua, which was recently purchased by Gold Coin.  We came away from his lecture feeling confident that he had a very professionally run program, and we recommend that farmers interested in good genetics contact SyAqua for their broodstock needs.


Please, please do not ever use pond animals for broodstock.  You may save a few dollars, but it will cost your thousands in reduced performance, production, growth and survival.


CP Foods has a breeding program, but it does not sell broodstock as far as I know.  Kona Bay Marine Resources sells broodstock in Southeast Asia, but it concentrates on large hatcheries and only sells in lots of 300 breeding pairs or more, so smaller hatcheries cannot buy from them.


I wish there was some kind of genetic surveillance program that would monitor inbreeding and publish a score so that farmers would know the quality of what they are buying.  Barring that pipe dream, all farmers can do is be very diligent in their selection of a postlarvae provider.


Sources: 1. News Release, EMS Feed Solution, Daniel Gruenberg, CEO, Acquestra (Thailand) Co., Ltd., 448/8 Floor 1-2, Moo12, Thepprasit Road, T.Nalkua A. Banglamung, Chonburi 20150, Thailand (; or Daniel Gruenberg, Sureerath Prawns, 105 Moo 13 Paknam, Laemsing, Chanthaburi, Thailand 22130 (phone +66-39-363075, mobile +66-87-059-7528, Skype danielpattaya1, fax +66-39-363721, email, webpages and  June 19, 2013.  2. Email to Shrimp News International from Daniel Gruenberg on June 18, 2013.  3: The Shrimp List (a mailing list for shrimp farmers).  Subject: Don’t Forget About Genetics.  June 19, 2013.


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