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Shrimp and fish farmers and hatchery owners no longer need to rely on manual data entry to monitor their stocks and maximize profitability.
Ontario-based environmental monitoring company Hoskin Scientific has introduced Ohio-based water measurement solutions provider YSI’s latest optical dissolved oxygen (ODO) field meter.
Bühler Inc., has announced Andy Sharpe as its new president and chief executive officer as of Jan. 1, 2019.
Phibro Animal Health Corporation has a new North America Aqua Manager. 
Pranger Companies, an Indiana-based RAS consultant, has acquired an aquaculture design firm based out of British Columbia called PR Aqua.

The company acquired the Canadian aquaculture design consultant from Pentair Aquatic Eco-Systems (Canada), Inc. Formerly PR Aqua Supplies Ltd, PR Aqua LLC produces integrated water treatment and fish handling solutions for a variety of applications, specializing in recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS).

Pranger is an Indiana-based consultant and construction manager specializing in the development of commercial RAS projects in the US.

“We are excited to have PR Aqua join the Pranger Companies,” Gabe Pranger, equity holder in the Pranger Companies, said. “Their knowledge of aquaculture systems and technology will be a tremendous benefit to our clients.”

Taking the company from good to great by attracting a world-class workforce, and keeping them, is at the core of a new role at Cermaq Canada.

“Cermaq Canada has a desire to build a world class organization; we are good at what we do. We want to be great. That is done with world-class people in aquaculture,” says Shannan Brown, who was appointed to the new role of People and Culture director in October.

“As the company has advanced in many areas and is now guided by a global strategy, the human resources function has advanced as well,” says Brown, who was HR manager at Cermaq Canada for 4.5 years. “The HR manager title was changed to reflect this future-focused strategy work. This strategic view is about all aspects of our employees, future candidates, too. Plus to consider the environment that our employees work in so that we have a commonly held group of values and beliefs - that is the culture part (of the title).”

Brown adds that commitment to sustainable aquaculture and to First Nations is crucial for Cermaq. “In my role that commitment would include a strategy for the recruitment and retention of First Nations,” she says.
An award that champions businesses for their contribution in helping “shape Canada’s economic landscape” has named Cooke Aquaculture Inc of Blacks Harbour, New Brunswick as a finalist.

The 6th Private Business Growth Award by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce and Grant Thornton LLP recognizes 10 of Canada’s best private businesses that have “completed outstanding achievements in strategic, sustainable and holistic growth.”

Selected by an eight-person jury, the Top 10 Finalists were chosen based on a range of categories including innovation, market development, people and culture, strategic leadership and improvement in financial measures.

“Each of the Top 10 Finalists possesses a like-minded commitment to hard work, passion, and tenacity which wholly contributes to the strength and sustainability of the Canadian economy,” said Kevin Ladner, CEO and Executive Partner, Grant Thornton. “These nominated businesses demonstrate a true devotion to the success of their local communities, which is worthy of recognition. I wish the best of luck to the Top 10 Finalists at the upcoming ceremony (on November 28).”
 
Cooke is the only aquaculture entity and the only seafood company among the Top 10. “Celebrating our business accomplishments is important – but we are a great company because of our great people. Their hard work and dedication have made our family’s group of companies a success,” said Glenn Cooke, CEO, Cooke Aquaculture Inc.
Adrian Southern has written a how-to book for the small-scale aquaponic farmer.  Southern, who runs Raincoast Aquaponics in the Cowichan valley north of Victoria, British Columbia, has developed an aquaponics farm designed to turn a profit with one or two operators and a combined time of under 40 hours a week.  He is now imparting that knowledge to others.

The Aquaponic Farmer, co-written with Whelm King, distills five years of learning from operating Raincoast Aquaponics. The book is not about adding a few tilapia below the grow table of tomato plants; rather, it is designed for small-scale, commercial operators, Southern says.

He designed a custom system suited to temperate climates. “Our goal was to create a model system and assess its technical feasibility, its economic viability and prove that it works,” he says.  The cooler temperatures support the choice to raise salmonids.  “Rainbow trout fry are readily available, they thrive in cooler water and are a familiar product for my direct-sale customers,” Southern says. Nutrients from the trout support a 52-week production of leafy greens, primarily lettuce.

With an investment of between $100,000 and $200,000 (USD) in a 36-by-120-ft greenhouse installation, a sole operator can produce 80,000 lettuce plants and 750 rainbow trout (weighing roughly 1kg each) per year, for an average gross return of just under $2,000 a week, Southern maintains.  

Trout are housed in three 8-by-3-ft circular tanks that Southern sources from Pentair.  Plants grow in three deep water culture tray systems, each with twin 86-by-4-ft troughs that are built on-site.
The 304-page book guides the reader through the process, from selecting a suitable site through to harvesting and selling the crops. Chapters cover design, and instructions on building the system, raising fish, producing plants, diseases and pests, and standard operating procedures.  There is also a chapter on writing a business plan.  “Important” boxes emphasize critical points of each chapter.

Southern is developing an on-line course with his educator wife.  “I almost wish I’d left something out of the book that I could include as new material in the course,” he quips.  They are planning to offer courses at Raincoast’s facility to give students hands-on experience with an actual working system. Southern is also a consultant; he is working with system builders in British Columbia, Ontario, Washington State and Oregon.

“There is definitely a future in this,” says Southern. “I don’t come close to meeting the demand for local, sustainably raised fish and greens at my local farmers market.”
Marine Harvest Canada (MHC) has appointed Dr Diane Morrison as managing director.

Morrison is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and has 25 years’ experience in salmon production. She has led Marine Harvest Canada’s Fish Health and Food Safety Department in Western Canada for 18 years.
“I am very passionate about our business, the health of both wild and farm-raised fish, and about the great team we have at Marine Harvest Canada. I am excited to share my experience and build a sustainable future together for our local communities,” said
Morrison, who took over the role from Vincent Erenst in October.

Morrison has been a resident of Campbell River, BC for the past 25 years. She earned her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at Ontario Veterinary College and has served on multiple research teams publishing on aquaculture and wild salmon in British Columbia, said MHC.
Cooke Aquaculture has named Claire Ryan as director of public relations.

Ryan has extensive experience in community relations and public engagement. She was formerly the manager of public affairs of the Canadian Automobile Association – Atlantic, and held roles with Enterprise Saint John, National Public Relations, and MT&L Public Relations Ltd.

“Her background in corporate communications, community engagement, and social media strategy will support Cooke’s overall mission and values as a sustainable seafood leader,” said Joel Richardson, vice president of public relations at Cooke Aquaculture.

Ryan is a local resident of St John and holds a masters degree in Communications Management from McMaster University. “Our company’s success is driven by our dynamic, highly-skilled and innovative management team, supported by dedicated employees who live in coastal communities and contribute to the local area’s economy and sense of community. Claire has a keen interest in working with our teams across the company to help share the Cooke story. We are confident that she will do a marvelous job,” said Richardson.



North Island College (NIC) in British Columbia is launching a new Aquaculture Technician certificate in January 2019. The program is designed to equip students with technical skills to work with a variety of species in BC’s growing aquaculture industry.

The four-month certificate is the first of two new aquaculture offerings at NIC, developed in response to an industry call for workers with broader field skills.

“We heard from industry about the need for more advanced technician training and education to fill current and projected vacancies,” said Cheryl O’Connell, NIC’s dean of trades and technical programs. “This new certificate prepares students for entry-level positions and provides an excellent foundation for further studies.”

NIC has offered Level 1 Aquaculture Technician Training since 2014. The new certificate includes Technician Level 1 training, with an updated curriculum, more occupational health and safety training and the ability to ladder into BC’s first advanced production-training program, the Aquaculture Technician diploma, scheduled to begin in Fall 2019.

Renowned aquaculture researcher and educator, Dr Jesse Ronquillo, developed the programs’ curriculum in consultation with the BC Shellfish Growers Association and the BC Salmon Farmers Association.

“The growing interest in aquaculture around the world is creating a need for technical training and education,” said Ronquillo. “These programs prepare students for a range of industry jobs, from hatchery to farm-site work. The certificate trains students in a variety of aquaculture species including finfish, shellfish and algal production techniques.”

Both aquaculture programs will take place at NIC’s Campbell River campus, now undergoing a $17.6-million expansion and renovation. "The planned facility will enable students to raise a variety of species through various development stages,” said Ronquillo.

Farmed salmon is BC’s top exported agrifood and seafood commodity, contributing $1.5 billion towards the BC economy between 2013 and 2016. Geoduck clam exports rose 50 percent from 2016 to 2017 and oyster exports have increased annually since 2010, data from BC Agriculture and Seafood Statistics 2017 show.
Kansas City’s Nile Valley Aquaponics (NVA), the brainchild of urban and aquaponic farmer Dre Taylor, is a community greenhouse project that currently grows around 100,000 lbs of food per year, including tilapia.

The fish are fed naturally through a patented system that converts black soldier fly larvae to fish feed.

NVA is fundraising to create new facilities on the property to double food production and to create a model that can be imported to other areas.

“We provide access to healthy food, and foster community and economic development in an area known as a food desert,” says Taylor. “We’re teaching people to grow their own food, to eat something that’s local and to provide jobs in the community. With the new facility, we’re trying to build a franchiseable model that can be duplicated in other cities.”

Tony McGrail, project architect with design and engineering firm HOK, says he reached out to Taylor after reading about NVA and being impressed by Taylor’s story and his work.

“I thought, ‘wow, this guy is really putting the world on his shoulders in a rough, disadvantaged part of town, and is seemingly succeeding,” says McGrail.

HOK provided NVA with conceptual schematics and mock-ups for new facilities to be used in fundraising efforts. The design includes two greenhouses, one with fruit trees and a fishing pond, and the other for the waste-processing component. Rainwater will be collected in cisterns for various uses and electricity will be generated through a solar array and a wind turbine. A shipping container currently located on the site will be repurposed into a pop-up market to sell NVA’s produce.

Once fundraising is complete and the project is ready to move forward, HOK will develop full construction and engineering documents for the project and will serve in an advisory capacity during construction.

Taylor hopes that fundraising will be completed soon and the new facilities will be in operation by spring of 2019.
Norwegian company CageEye says its namesake acoustic listening device enables salmon farmers to make precise decisions in determining salmon feeding optimization and reduce feed waste as a result.

The system’s latest version is adapted to bigger rearing units. CageEye has real-time and history control panel that provides a good overview of fish behavior in real time and fishing density in the chosen feeding area. As it records a history of past feeds, the farmer can track the history of the fish’s response to previous feedings.

“In terms of analyzing fish feeding activity in a long-term perspective, there is really no competitor to echo sound data for understanding how the fish respond. Analysis of camera recording may of course be used, but this would be extremely tedious and the data will not be as good,” Ole Folkedal, researcher at the Institute of Marine Research in Bergen, told Aquaculture North America (ANA).

Since CageEye collects data of the depth the fish reside, it can also be used in sea lice prevention, says Folkedal. “The fish show strong preferences for light and temperature and change depth accordingly. When using submerged lamps for postponing sexual maturation, the depth position of lamps can be used to attract the fish deeper, and, thus, also avoid the parasites.”
An “escape-proof” net cage system will be installed in Grieg’s project in Newfoundland, Canada, the salmon farmer said.   
   
The net cage system, called Aqualine Midgard, has been touted by its developer as the “industry’s first escape-proof fish farming system.” Norwegian net cage system supplier Aqualine won the 2015 NHO Trøndelag Innovation Award for the product.
According to The Research Council of Norway, equipment failure or operational error are behind three out of four farmed salmon escapes, and two out of three escapes are due to holes in sea cage nets.

Aqualine CCO Stig Domaas Førre said the Midgard System has addressed common problems that make most net-cage systems susceptible to strong currents and winds. Midgard System nets are sewn by hand and are custom-made to suit the farm. Also included is a system of 10 coordinated winches along the surface of the cage, in order to make it easier for farmers to raise the cage when harvesting.

Førre says the system is escape-free when operated under the proper parameters. Obviously, escapes can happen if a system isn’t used or maintained properly, or in accidents, for instance, a boat crashing into the cage.

“Our product is extremely well-tested and documented. For all of these tests, we have not seen any sign of chaffing and there has not been any accidents with the system,” says Førre. “But a plane can fall down. It’s safe to fly and there are many regulations when you operate as an airliner that you have to be within. There are so many safety checks. But still, once in a while, a plane falls down.”
Kentucky State University is running a workshop on indoor marine shrimp farming on September 14 and 15 at the university's Harold R. Benson Research and Demonstration Farm at 1525 Mills Lane, Frankfort, Kentucky.

The interactive workshop will cover a wide range of topics, from the basics of indoor marine shrimp farming to the latest in technological innovations, research, regulations, post-larvae supply to marketing. It will feature a series of presentations and round table discussions with experts in the field and policymakers who help shape the future of shrimp farming in the US and globally.

Registration deadline is August 24 at  s.surveyplanet.com/B1Ioo0h7m.

Registration fee is $25 per person.

For out-of-town participants, a limited number of hotel rooms are reserved at the Capital Plaza Hotel in Frankfort at the special rate of US$103 per night for September 13-14. Use code “Shrimp Workshop” when booking.

Contact Dr Andrew Ray for additional details or any questions at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
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