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Finfish news announcements 2015 – Part 3

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Animal Health, Aquaculture, FFN 2015, Finfish News, Technology

Below are the best announcements over the last quarter from across the international aquaculture industry and government bodies.

1. Workshop to develop UK aquaponics expertise

Over the last five years there has been a surge in interest in aquaponics in England and Wales. Aquaponics is the combination of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) with hydroponics, where the hydroponically-grown plants and their growing medium act as an additional biofilter for the animals. The co-culture of plants with aquatic animals maximises harvest from nutrient inputs whilst minimising waste and environmental discharge.

As Cefas (including the Fish Health Inspectorate) has advisory and regulatory roles in relation to this new and developing sector of aquaculture, Keith Jeffrey attended a commercial aquaponics workshop in Bicton, Devon in August.

The Aquaponics Design Workshop was run by Australian aquaponicist Dr Wilson Lennard (Aquaponic Solutions) who has 14 years’ experience in aquaponics. He specialises in the adaptation and optimisation of aquaponics to Australian conditions and fish species. The workshop was run in association with the British Aquaponics Association and MacAlister Elliott & Partners Ltd.

The workshop, delivered over 2 days, provided training in the engineering of a commercial system, business skills and aquaponic product marketing. The course was designed to provide participants with knowledge to enable them to design, construct and operate commercial aquaponic systems.

The course included: standard RAS fish  keeping, standard deep flow hydroponic  components, aquaponic systems, calculations for design and system sizing, management principles and practices, fish and plant combinations, nutrient dynamics, greenhouses, system operation, cyclical harvesting of fish and plants, buffering, ensuring plant nutrition, food safety, post production treatment and packaging, business and financial planning, deliveries, markets and customers.

2. Plans for new turbot farm discussed at stakeholder meeting

On the 27th February 2015, the Cefas Weymouth laboratory hosted a meeting to discuss the introduction of recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS) to increase aquaculture production in southern England. The meeting focussed on specific plans for a new turbot farm on Portland and introduced the project to a range of different stakeholders and regulators. The aim of the meeting was to improve understanding, answer questions, and identify any issues that might arise.

Rachel Hartnell (Cefas) welcomed attendees and Neil Auchterlonie (Cefas) set the scene by highlighting aquaculture’s potential contribution to food security. The Director of Landfish, Michael Ford, then spoke about the company’s aims and provided an overview of the Portland turbot project. This was followed by an introduction to modern recirculating aquaculture systems by Jacob Bregnalle (AKVA).  Tom Pickerell (Seafish) concluded the morning session by presenting the Seafish Aquaculture Review and its development priorities.

After lunch Keith Jeffery (Cefas) discussed the potential for Portland as an aquaculture hub and the advantages of stakeholder dialogue.  The formal presentations concluded with Chris Leftwhich (Billingsgate) highlighting the flow of aquaculture products through Billingsgate, and Dan Fairweather (Willis) discussing aquaculture insurance.

An open debate about the Portland turbot project then followed with vigorous discussion about its pros and cons.

The workshop was well received by attendees and met its aims by providing project information to the various stakeholders, and in turn, the developers also received valuable feedback.

3. VMD report of residues of veterinary medicines found in UK farmed fish in 2014

Samples of UK farmed salmon and trout are analysed for residues of veterinary medicines and unauthorised substances under the Statutory Surveillance Programme operated by the Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD).

During 2014, 1445 samples were taken. Only two trout samples were found to contain residues, both having residues of leucomalachite green. Investigations established that the most likely cause of these residues was exposure to historically used dyes which occurred following disturbance of sediment. Both farms were placed under movement restrictions until analysis confirmed that fish were free from contamination.


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