A newly published report by the FAO stipulates that aquaculture is the fastest-growing animal producing sector, accounting for nearly half (46%) of the world's food fish consumption, forecasted to surpass 50% by the end of this year.
One of the key findings of the report, entitled World Aquaculture 2010, was that between 2000 and 2008, global fish production grew from 32.4 million ton to 52.5 million ton (a huge 60% increase).
Although it is unsurprising that the Asia-Pacific region accounts for a significant proportion of global production (89%), the report does acknowledge the considerable R&D conducted being throughout Europe in improving the efficiency of farming operations that ultimately result in a better-quality of fish for the consumer.
Researcher on sea life ecology worldwide is sounding an alarm on gradual declines in wild catch fishing production and depletion of stocks, while being careful to note that growth in the global aquaculture industry is largely making up the difference and are overtaking capture fishing as the world's leading source of seafood.
Efforts to reduce the overcapacity in fishing fleets, fed by generous subsidies from European and Asian nations, have failed, and progress toward reversing depletion of the ocean's resources is too slow.
The graph clearly shows how the supply of seafood has developed and is expected to develop over the coming decades. (Source; Nofima AS, Norway).
The graph indicates that in 10 years more than 50% of the world's supply of seafood will be produced by the aqua culture industry. The projection is based on historic data and does not incorporate the development of new production technologies, new governmental policies and food priorities, the intensive and resourceful R&D going into adapting ecological feed formulations, DNA development of spicies based on family monitoring & breeding programs and the expected changes in consumer behavior moving from meat protein to sea food protein due to health aspects and motivation.
The success of the Norwegian salmon and trout aquaculture business is a widespread example of how a single spice of fish can be cultivated and sold becoming Norway's second blargest industry accounting for an export value of nearly USD 8 bill alone.
The following statement is issued by the Norwegian Government that is fasilitating a 100% increase in production capacity from 1.5 mill metric ton to 3.0 mill ton in 10 years.
Norway's aquaculture industry is a modern, internationally competitive industry and a highly efficient producer of quality seafood. Products from aquaculture now account for more than 60 per cent of the total value of all Norwegian seafood exports.
The two dominant species in the Norwegian aquaculture industry are Atlantic salmon and trout. Development of new species is focused on the cod, halibut, catfish and blue mussels.
Starting an aquaculture business in Norway requires a license from the authorities. Aquaculture operations are subject to stringent regulations, in particular regarding environmental considerations, fish health, fish welfare and food safety. These aspects form vital prerequisites for the international competitiveness of the aquaculture industry.
Source; The Norwegian Ministry of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs.
The main challanges for Norwegian salmon & trout farmers is the fact that most markets demand freh supplies that can only be satisfyed by air transport. This fact constitutes a CO2 problem as well as a more than 50% increase in landed cost of the product in the major overseas markets in Asia due to transportation.
The Europea Union is investing substantially into R&D developing the Aqua Culture Business of the Union - which in contradiction to world development, has experienced a volume decline over the last 10 years.
Effective governance of aquaculture, one of the fastest growing food-production sectors in the world, is essential for its continued growth and the achievement of its potential. This involves working towards optimal use of scarce inputs, to achieve the greatest production of aquatic products. Many resources used in aquaculture such as water, land, seed, brood stock and feed ingredients are often in short supply. This is so because these resources - or factors of production - are commonly used also in agriculture...
The sector's use of natural resources must ensure long term sustainability, which generally means avoiding adverse effects on the environment. However, information on expected or potential environmental impacts of aquaculture is often incomplete...
An important aspect in this context is the need for effective fish health management controls, as disease has become a primary constraint to the growth of aquaculture. Intensive culture practices, with poorly controlled use of feed and production of waste, have adversely affected local environments. This has led to recognition of the need for better husbandry practices to protect water quality, which is essential for optimum health and production in aquaculture.
(High lightening made by Sinor)
Source; Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
In recent years land based farms have advanced in technology to become more eco-friendly and to provide greater security and control of the farming process. The most advanced of these are known as water recirculation systems or R.A.S. designs.
Billund Akvaculture is a private limited Danish company. The company is world leading in the commercialization of the RAS production technologies. The company built its first RAS system in Denmark in 1984 and introduced the system into a broader market as from 1991. Since then Billund Akvaculture has supplied 111 RAS technological system, each with a unique tailor design meeting the individual customer's requirements in markets all over the world.
The company is in the industry generally accepted as supplying optimal solutions never failing to supply as agreed. After sales service is of highest possible level with a guaranteed max response time of 24 hours anywhere in the world.
Mr. Bjarne Hald Olsen has been leading the company over the last six years taking its performances through an impressive period of growth. Prior to his position in Billund, Mr Olsen was employed by the Danish Government's R&D for new fish farming technologies.
Link to Billund AquaCulture AS is www.billund-aqua.dk
In general, there is often confusion about what is meant by recycling and what is meant by reuse. Recycling is when the water quality is in control of the water treatment system, not by the inlet water.
The degree of recirculation is normally expressed in two ways. The first way is the reuse degree in percentage which is defined as the make up water added in relation to the flow in the system, normally this value is variation between 95 and 99,9 %. The second way is define by the percentage of water exchange of the whole system per day, normal values for moderate recycling is between 10 to 20%, but none of these parameters actually doesn't give a obvious picture of how "intensive" the system is designed. It is necessary with a more cost- and technical related description of the degree of recirculation and in this context the water exchange per amount of feed put into the system per day is much more precise expressed as liter of water exchanged per day per kg feed applied to the system.
Moderate recycling is based on mechanical filtration and biological treatment of the water coming out from the fish tanks in order to remove the waste products excreted from the fish. In general, the mechanical filter removes the solid particles, whereas the biological filters remove the dissolved compounds such as organic matter and transformation of the toxic ammonia to the less toxic nitrate (nitrification) which is then diluted out of the system. As the water is led back to the fish tanks, sufficient aeration and oxygenation is taking place. Also, disinfection by use of ultra-violet light (UV-filtration) is carried out before the water re-enters the fish tanks. The exchange of water per day in such systems equals normally 400 - 600 liter new water per kg fish feed applied to the system.
Intensive recirculation will require a denitrification filter and a phosphor removal system. In the denitrification filter the nitrate is transferred into free nitrogen. If denitrification is included, recycling levels less than 0.1% new water can be reached equal to 50 - 100 liter new water per kg fish feed applied to the system. This means that the water leaving the system can potentially be reduced to the water content in the sludge com-ing from the mechanical filters and bio filters plus what leaves through evaporation.
The whole system is controlled by a central PLC, but all equipment can be run in manual.
Selected parameters are monitored and regulated in order to insure a stable and efficient system. Regulated and alarm given parameters are oxygen, pH, temperature, carbon dioxide, salinity, water levels, pump stops, water pressure, thermal failure. In addition hour meter on pumps, running status (man./auto/or turned off), alarm history etc. are recorded.